Yet another plaintiff has sought to minimize her doctor’s restrictions and once again a court has held that an employee is bound by those restrictions. Horn v. Knight Facilities Management, Inc. (6th Cir. February 25, 2014). We posted last year about two cases where the plaintiffs sought unsuccessfully to discredit the medical opinion of their health care providers.
In Horn, the plaintiff, a janitor, developed a sensitivity to the cleaning chemicals used at work. After taking time off, and then limiting exposure to the chemicals to two hours per day, and ventilating the area, Horn still reacted adversely to the cleaning chemicals. After these numerous unsuccessful efforts, Horn’s health care provider wrote “no exposure to cleaning solutions.” When the employer determined that it did not have any work for Horn within this restriction, it terminated her. Horn argued that her health care provider’s “no exposure” restriction “was not as rigid as expressed in [the] final restriction” and that the employer would have known that she could “occasionally handle cleaning solutions and/or wear a respirator” had they engaged in the interactive dialogue in good faith. The court rejected Horn’s argument that her employer did not engage in the interactive dialogue appropriately and affirmed summary judgment for Horn’s employer.