T Nation

Wife Being Discriminated for Broken Foot


#1

I'll try to keep this short.

My wife is a server/bartender at the most popular restaurant in town and she somehow developed a stress fracture in her foot.

She recently saw the podiatrist who gave her a note for a week off from work and when she goes back only limits to 8 hour shifts and she has a boot that she has to wear when she goes back.

The management is trying to tell her she cannot wear the boot and won't let her work until she doesn't need the boot. Their argument being it's open toe and non-slip resistant.

She can't afford to be off work for an extended period which I think she needs anyway to heal I can make plenty of money working OT but it really is the principle of it all. How can they tell someone with a legitimate medical condition that they can't wear a doctor described medical device? Anyway I would appreciate some input. I keep telling her to quit and I'll pick up the slack but she's stubborn.


#2

I think what they are trying to say is they don’t want her working at all. I can understand why, what happens if she falls and breaks it worse? I feel like she might be eligible for a fraction of her pay due to medical leave, but you might need some consultation.


#3

Doesn’t sound like they’re discriminating … it sounds like it’s a health code concern. I’ve had a boot on for 8 weeks, and I can see how it’d be a legitimate safety concern behind the bar. I really don’t see this being unreasonable especially from a liability stand point … plus she won’t be as mobile as she would need to be.


#4

Well, do they ordinarily require that all servers/bartenders wear closed-toe, slip resistant shoes? Because that seems like a reasonable safety precaution that reduces their liability. If your wife can’t meet the safety standards of the job, it’s not unreasonable to prevent her from working.


#5

It sounds to me like the stress fracture was caused by the standing she does at work. Tell her to file a workers’ comp claim. If they have to pay for her time off, they might be a little more forgiving about the requested accommodation.


#6

And do not let her quit. Quitting terminates a lot of employment-related rights.


#7

She got it taken care of today. Regarding the health code thing she checked on that and there was no basis for that. For the liability thing they apparently talked to a lawyer and they are having her sign a waiver in case she does slip and fall.


#8

She can at least get disability pay which is better than nothing right?


#9

[quote]StevenF wrote:
I’ll try to keep this short.

My wife is a server/bartender at the most popular restaurant in town and she somehow developed a stress fracture in her foot.

She recently saw the podiatrist who gave her a note for a week off from work and when she goes back only limits to 8 hour shifts and she has a boot that she has to wear when she goes back.

The management is trying to tell her she cannot wear the boot and won’t let her work until she doesn’t need the boot. Their argument being it’s open toe and non-slip resistant.

She can’t afford to be off work for an extended period which I think she needs anyway to heal I can make plenty of money working OT but it really is the principle of it all. How can they tell someone with a legitimate medical condition that they can’t wear a doctor described medical device? Anyway I would appreciate some input. I keep telling her to quit and I’ll pick up the slack but she’s stubborn. [/quote]
They are under obligations to “try to provide” reasonable accommodations but most employers will not pay to have her change job duties to accommodate her restrictions.

If it was considered a work related injury then that is a different story. But as a business owner I would not take the liability of her running around behind a bar and slip and break something than it IS a work related injury.


#10

[quote]StevenF wrote:
She got it taken care of today. Regarding the health code thing she checked on that and there was no basis for that. For the liability thing they apparently talked to a lawyer and they are having her sign a waiver in case she does slip and fall. [/quote]
It will still be a work related injury no matter the waiver if she slips and falls.

Sticky situation. I advise DO NOT FALL


#11

Cover the toes and put non slip tape on bottom boot!