I’m going to give you some free advice: Don’t try to rob your employer.
You might be thinking, “Hey, that’s not advice. That’s common sense.”
But it’s not.
People call me looking for a lawsuit. They want me to help them create a lottery ticket in the form of an employment discrimination claim. Unless you’ve actually been discriminated against, that plan is called robbery.
For example, CC called looking for an attorney for her husband. Her husband may or may not have been disabled, but let’s say he was. Ok? (Because under the ADAAA all Plaintiff’s get the benefit of the doubt now. And there’s your free advice.) Unfortunately, the man’s employer was trying to work with the employee. They had reassigned him to a new position to accommodate his restrictions. Then we he presented them with new restrictions they attempted to accommodate him again.
But she wasn’t sure they were going to continue to do so. And sometimes they asked him to do something that may or may not have contravened his restrictions. (She wasn’t quite sure). She also wasn’t sure if HR even knew what his restrictions were so that they could be accommodated (if they even needed to be). Now that you have the backdrop, here’s the rest of the conversation:
RJ: So, what’s your question?
CC: Well, we are just looking around for attorneys that take these types of cases in case we need an attorney.
RJ: Well, I take discrimination cases when the facts demonstrate that there was a possibility of discrimination.
CC: We’ve been keeping records and logs of everything that has been occurring.
RJ: Good. If you have a claim, records will assist you.
CC: Do you think we should do anything else right now?
RJ: Have you talked to the HR department?
CC: No. We called the ADA line and then have been calling attorneys.
RJ: Well, I recommend calling your HR department and working with HR on a solution to the problem.
CC: I don’t even think HR has his restrictions.
RJ: That’s why you should call.
CC: Oh, so you think I should ask for his personnel file or medical file to see if they have it.
RJ: No. I think you should just call HR, tell them that your husband has restrictions, and have a discussion about what can be done to accommodate those restrictions.
CC: Oh, well we were just calling attorneys to have one lined up and ready to go.
RJ: I understand, but you really need to work with your HR Department for the purpose of reaching a solution. An attorney isn’t going to be able to help you do that at this point.
Don’t run to an attorney when you haven’t exhausted your options at work. Be a problem solver, not a problem maker.
And for goodness sake, call the attorney yourself. Don’t make your spouse do it.