I am a supervisor who works 12 hour rotating shifts that go from day to night and vice versa in a 7 day period. I suffer from fibromyalgia and the doctor recommends a 12 hour day shift the same number of hours for 12 weeks to help regulate medication. Can I be fired or denied?
Ann Kiernan replies:
While under some circumstances a shift change can be a reasonable accommodation of a disability, that is not always the case. For instance, in Colwell v Rite Aid Corp., 602 F.3d 495 (3d Cir. 2010), a cashier who could no longer drive at night because of an eye problem was held entitled to a schedule change to day shifts only. On the other hand, in Turco v. Hoechst Celanese Chenicl Co.,101 F.3d 1090 (5th Cir., 1996), a different federal appeals court held that there was no duty to create a day-shift job for a chemical operator with diabetes who could not work a rotating shift. And a third federal appellate panel found that rotating shifts can be an essential function of the job for a utility company worker, and that, therefore, an employer need not accommodate an request for a straight shift from a diabetic employee. Kallail v. Alliant Energy Corporate Services, Inc., 691 F. 3d 925 (8th Cir. 2012)
As you can see, these cases are very fact-specific, so I urge you to consult a local employment lawyer to learn more about your rights in your particular situation. Good luck.
Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.