SW Legal studies in Business

Disability Accommodation Need Not Include Union Position for Disabled Union Worker
Description Appeals court affirmed that reasonable accommodation for a union worker who becomes disabled does not have to include maintenance of a union position if the new position is in a non-union part of the operation. The employer accommodated the disabled worker by offering a reasonable job; it need not have all terms and benefits of the previous job.
Topic Employment Discrimination
Key Words Disability; Accommodation; Union Status
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Jones worked in a union position as a crane operator for 24 years before he was injured on the job. For three years he did not work, and was supported by workers' compensation. When he was ready to return to work, his poor vision prevented him returning to his old job. His employer offered him other union jobs. He refused those offers and was offered a job in quality control, a non-union part of the plant. He worked there for two years at his former salary and benefits, and as a union member. After two years, he was transferred to a union job. He objected because he was afraid his vision would result in his suffering an injury. He was told that to remain in quality control it could not be as a union member because the company did not want to give the union an excuse to expand its coverage of positions. Jones refused and sued for disability discrimination. The trial court dismissed the suit. Jones appealed.
Decision Affirmed. The employer fulfilled its duties. It offered Jones the only available position that he believed would accommodate his disability. The employer had a good business reason to refuse to convert the quality control position into a union position. Reasonable accommodation did not require the employer to do that. An employer is not required to comply with every request of a disabled employee in order to avoid liability. The claim that the job offered was "intolerable" is not correct; there was no constructive discharge here in violation of the law.
Citation Jones v. Aluminum Shapes, Inc., - A.2d - (2001 WL 406175, Super. Ct., N.J., 2001)

Back to Employment Discrimination Listings

©1997-2002  SW Legal Studies in Business. All Rights Reserved.