May employers ban wheelchairs without a doctor's note?

Discussion in 'Human Rights' started by PopulistMadison, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. PopulistMadison

    PopulistMadison Active Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I mean for a desk job at a call center, with zero physical work. The employee brings his own chair, and it fits under the desk just fine. The employer says he can't bring the chair without a doctor's note saying it is medically necessary.

    ADA says they can't ask if someone has a disability.
    ADA also says they must make reasonable accommodations if a disability is proven.
    Accommodations are described as changes to the job or environment.


    Lots of employers have this policy. I wonder if it is legal.
     
  2. btthegreat

    btthegreat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Messages:
    12,152
    Likes Received:
    3,707
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Probably. they aren't asking if the employee has a disability for the purposes of discrimination in employement. He's bringing it up to them when he requests accommodation secondary to the ADA. They are setting workplace standards with respect to the furniture in the workplace which are absolutely within their purview, until they get informed about an ADA claim for accommodation. Then they are asking for proof provided by the medical expert, most directly knowledgable with the specifics of the employee need( his doctor), that a specific accommodation requested by an employee, meets the requirements of the statute. That demand is consistent with and anticipated by the language of the statute.

    What other sort of credible proof could the employee provide, that he really needed the accommodation requested and that it would be sufficient to solve the problem posed by his limitation?
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
  3. JakeStarkey

    JakeStarkey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2016
    Messages:
    24,022
    Likes Received:
    8,823
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Without such a statute you would have 'service' animals all over the call center.
     
  4. PopulistMadison

    PopulistMadison Active Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I was asking about wheel chairs, not service animals.

    Also, what if the employee does not bring it up? He shows up with the wheelchair and is asked for a note to continue using it.
     
  5. squidward

    squidward Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    33,673
    Likes Received:
    7,126
    Trophy Points:
    113
    There was no argument against the statute.
    Read much?
     
  6. btthegreat

    btthegreat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Messages:
    12,152
    Likes Received:
    3,707
    Trophy Points:
    113
    what is the employer's stated concern about this wheelchair use? Do they mention a safety concern, and image concern, other employee complaints? I mean what are they saying when they object - excect that it may be unjustified by ADA, unnecessary and unlike the chairs others are using? there has to be some sort of rationale expressed to the employee, in the initial discussion in the first place before they ask for the note. .
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
  7. JakeStarkey

    JakeStarkey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2016
    Messages:
    24,022
    Likes Received:
    8,823
    Trophy Points:
    113
    The employer has the legal right. If you are in doubt, reread the federal and state laws. And, yes, service animals are in the same law boat as wheelchairs, etc.
     
  8. Capt Nice

    Capt Nice Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2017
    Messages:
    7,166
    Likes Received:
    5,655
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    The manner in which the owner of the chair operates it could have a big impact on how dangerous it might be to the other employees on the job. A person in a wheelchair can do a lot of damage to property (walls, doorways, furniture, etc.) as well as injury to people and unless it's medically required why should the employer be expected to assume the risk?
     
  9. PopulistMadison

    PopulistMadison Active Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    28
    The employee did not use the chair when he was interviewed and hired. He started using it after being hired, and was approached at his desk by a supervisor who said he must remove it, then backed down to say it can't be brought back without a doctors note.
    The employee has had an injury 18 years but has hidden it from employers after being turned down for jobs previously after mentioning it.
    He uses the wheel chair only at home, the grocery store, and longer walks with friends, but can walk short distances as well as ride a bicycle.
    It is not yet recognized due to the price of MRIs.
    It is unknown whether a doctor would grant the note without adequate evidence, but $180 has been quoted just for exam before x-rays.

    The call center does not have any public inside. No image issue. 500 employees at their own cubicals. There is a high turn over right and desk vandalism that dwarfs anything the chair could theoretically cause.
     
  10. PopulistMadison

    PopulistMadison Active Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Also, the chair is much smaller than a normal chair. It is converted from a kids 12" bicycle, repainted handicap blue, pedals and chain removed, handle bars cut and capped to 6 inches wide. It is very maneuverable and narrow and looks like a medical device and has a placard sticker on it.

    Maybe that is the reason. The employee's long time injured wrists can't propel a normal wheel chair.

    Other employees have complimented the bike and said they wish they had one.
     
  11. PopulistMadison

    PopulistMadison Active Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    28
    The employee's goal right now is to talk the employer into letting him use it without a note, or at least be given more time to shop for a less expensive one.



    I think people can crash into each other regardless. The employee travels with the flow of walkers. But maybe another employee can blame the employer for letting a wheelchair in. I just cant imagine a jury faulting an employer for that.
     
  12. PopulistMadison

    PopulistMadison Active Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    28
    There are no other wheelchairs there out of 500 employees. I guess the employee can only ask, but getting a note in 24 hours may be unlikely or expensive.

    Maybe the employee should have paid for a note before applying. The ADA defines an accommodation as a change to the work environment. It never give the use of ones own wheelchair as an example either way. That is such a critical and common detail to leave vague.
     
  13. PopulistMadison

    PopulistMadison Active Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Well, I just asked the state, and they said the employer can require a note for someone to use a wheel chair. And if the person can't afford the exams to prove it, then they can walk on it till the damage becomes obvious without expensive exams.
     
  14. PopulistMadison

    PopulistMadison Active Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    28
    People are so cruel. The slightest theoretical risk is enough ruin someone elses life.
     
  15. PopulistMadison

    PopulistMadison Active Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    28
    MRIs don't heal people. They just prove you are not lying so you can use your chair.
     
  16. Blaster3

    Blaster3 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2018
    Messages:
    5,508
    Likes Received:
    4,499
    Trophy Points:
    113
    assuming the employee has a 'handicap parking' tag for their car, they could just bring it in & show the boss... they can't discriminate on handicapped nor wheelchair use, however, they can impose restrictions on 'homemade' devices that aren't approved for handicap use...
    the employee can just 'print out' an available form online, fill it out and scribble doc's name on it... highly unlikely that they will call the doc's office...
     
  17. PopulistMadison

    PopulistMadison Active Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    28
    The lady was tone deaf, not understanding that health insurance has a big deductible, and that modern medicine can't fix a lot. There are good reasons people don't buy health insurance.
     
  18. jay runner

    jay runner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2017
    Messages:
    13,108
    Likes Received:
    7,484
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Watch people closely when they come to interview. Locate the interview room up three flights of stairs, one mile from the parking lot if possible.

    If they are out of breath, don't hire them.

    If they trip over their own feet, or have an odd gait, don't hire them.

    If they are overweight, don't hire them.

    If they have big moles on their face that look like they could become cancerous, don't hire them.

    Have a pack of cigs and a dirty ashtray on the desk. If they light up, don't hire them.

    Your job is to make the company max profitable, and get the biggest bonus and stock options you can get for yourself. So look for anything in an applicant that may reduce profit.

    But you're going to have to let people in wheel chairs use the elevator.
     
  19. Blaster3

    Blaster3 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2018
    Messages:
    5,508
    Likes Received:
    4,499
    Trophy Points:
    113
    gonna need multiple applicants per position to get away with that bs, and better hope there are more position qualified applicants than the 'fatso' you don't wanna hire...
     
  20. jay runner

    jay runner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2017
    Messages:
    13,108
    Likes Received:
    7,484
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Sometimes in a pinch any warm body gets drafted.
     
  21. PopulistMadison

    PopulistMadison Active Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Well, I got together all the medical records I had and took them in. Got a note that was much more concise than what i would have written, and very accurate still. She did not use the exact phrase "medically necessary," but said enough it should legally bind.

    I feel sorry for the folks who cant prove that much.
     
  22. tkolter

    tkolter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    Messages:
    7,090
    Likes Received:
    583
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    As a disabled rights activist I can answer this one.

    No they cannot its illegal.

    Disability claims don't need to have any medical recognition to be a disability if the employee has a wheelchair and its for his disability under Title III of the ADA you must attempt reasonable accommodation or its a violation of the law.

    The only limits are for issues of safety or special equipment the employer must provide for the accommodation at their expense.

    An example say John must have a screen to enlarge a computer monitor or voice recognition software the employer is to provide they can insist on the need be demonstrated or if the employee provides something but it must be adapted to the work.

    But a mobility device or service animal they provide its implied they need it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019
  23. Kenneth Erwin Engelhardt

    Kenneth Erwin Engelhardt Newly Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2016
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    8
    I have never heard of an employer banning a wheelchair without a doctor's note.
     

Share This Page