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Thursday, July 18, 2013

How far do you have to go to accommodate a lifting restriction?

Today's post was shared by Lynch Ryan and comes from

Due to a workplace injury, an employee had a permanent 20-pound lifting restriction. She applied for a position that required heavy lifting. Did the company have to accept her suggestion on how to accommodate her restriction?

2workers-liftingRenee Majors worked at the General Electric (GE) Bloomington, IN, plant. In 2000, she suffered a work-related injury to her right shoulder that left her limited to lifting no more than 20 pounds and precluded her from work above shoulder level with her right arm.

The restrictions were temporary at first, but they were later determined to be permanent.

In 2009, Majors was the senior eligible bidder for a temporary purchased material auditor position under the collective bargaining agreement with GE. An essential function of the position was “intermittent movement of heavy objects.”

The plant’s lead occupational health nurse reviewed the job and noted that Majors had permanent lifting restrictions and the job required movement of heavy objects. The nurse determined Majors wasn’t medically qualified for the position.

Majors told management she believed she could perform the auditor position. GE further investigated whether her lifting restrictions could be accommodated. An ergonomic specialist weighed objects the auditor would have to lift and confirmed the objects weighed more than 20 pounds.

Majors suggested a material handler could do the lifting. She also claimed the lifting restrictions no longer limited her.

GE decided Majors..
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For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman  1.973.696.7900 have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

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