Can employers refuse to allow an individual with a disability to return to work?

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Can employers refuse to allow an individual with a disability to return to work?

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The employer cannot refuse to let an individual with a disability return to work on the basis that the employee is not fully recovered from injury, unless she or he: • Cannot perform the essential functions of the job she or he holds or desires with or without a reasonable accommodation, or • Would pose a significant risk of substantial harm that could not be reduced to an acceptable level with reasonable accommodation (i.e. “direct threat”). Since reasonable accommodation may include reassignment to a vacant position, an employer may be required to consider an employee’s qualifications to perform other vacant jobs for which she or he is qualified. The information in this fact sheet came from various DOL agencies, as well as the following sources: Center on Education and Work, University of Wisconsin-Madison ADAlliances to Educate and Employ People with Disabilities: Ideas to Solve your ADA Problems, September 1994; and the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute, Cambridge, MA. Sourc

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