Put in a job position I was not capable of
by Richard Lines
(Grass Valley, CA)
I have been working as a Delivery Representative for a major propane company in California for the past 3 years. I began to experience back pain that eventually led to the diagnosis of degenerative disc disease. I kept my employer informed during the whole process. At one point, my physician had made a verbal “recommendation”(nothing in writing) that I find another line of work. I had told this to my employer, when asked what the doctor had recommended. I was not allowed to drive anymore from that point by my employer. Even after receiving spinal steroid injections and feeling better, I asked to be put back in a truck. My employer refused stating that I was a “liability”(due to my bad back) My employer sent me to the company provided physician for a DOT physical, which cleared me to drive commercial motor vehicles. My employer was “stunned” that I had passed my DOT physical, but he still would not put me back into a delivery truck based on the comment to him, by me, from my physician that she “recommended that I find another line of work”. He then had me doing miscellaneous light duty jobs around the plant for a month. He then informed me that he had to fill my position as winter was coming and he needed a full staff of drivers on by October 1st. He informed me that I was holding this position open and he had to fill it with someone capable of doing the job. I was told that the company
did not have a position for me and that I would be let go. At the same time, one of the front office staff was going out on maternity leave. I expressed the desire that if he trained me, I could cover for the CRR that was leaving until she got back. Hey, it sure beats being laid off right? Well I received a months training and thought that I could do the job of a CRR. However, I have never worked as a CRR and it was a major change to my normal job duties and four months into it, realized that I could not continue with this line of work. As a CRR, answering phones is a major part of the
job. However, I was not ready for receiving verbal abuse from customers on a daily basis. I was becoming highly stressed out and miserable in that position. Besides, sitting in a chair for eight hours a day sure did not help with my degenerative disc disease. So, I quit.
What are my options now? Can I file for unemployment?
You can file, but it's iffy because you didn't mention talking to the employer again about the difficulties you were having in the new position.
However, if you needed to appeal .. a good hearing rep might be able to do something with the fact that the employer refused to put you back into your old position as a driver despite the fact you passed the DOT .. and basically forced you into the new unsuitable position.