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N.J. Supreme Court Clarifies Employer's Obligation to Offer Light Duty as a Reasonable Accommodation.

Yesterday, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued its most definitive decision to date on the issue of reasonable accommodation of disabled employees under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD). In Raspa v. Office of the Sheriff of the County of Gloucester, A-53-06 (June 12, 2007), the Court held that: (1) if the employee cannot perform the essential functions of the position he seeks or holds, the employer may lawfully terminate his employment; (2) the employer is not obligated to create a new position for an employee as a reasonable accommodation, nor to maintain an employee on permanent light duty; and (3) even where an employer has allowed an employee to be on light duty for an extended period of time, such action does not create an obligation to maintain the light duty assignment indefinitely.
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