Elkridge, MD asked in Employment Law for North Carolina

Q: Can someone be fired if the company suddenly considers them a liability? Even if they have never had a work accident?

My father always completes all of his work he has never been written up. Lately he has been having back and hip problems and yes he has slowed down from when he was 20 but he completes every task asked of him. And today HR contacted him and said that he had to get a note from a doctor today to be taken out of work for leave or either get let go because he was a liability. Is this legal? He has an appointment with a surgeon for his back next month and needed to save his leave time for that but they are making him take it now or get fired

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kirk Angel
Kirk Angel
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: In general, yes. North Carolina is an employment-at-will state where an employee can be fired at any time for good, bad or no reason at all. If he is not performing upto the employer's expectations, then he can be fired and that would be considered a "good" reason. However, if he is not performing up to the employer's expectations because of a health condition, he may have certain rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act. To be protected, he would need to disclose his health condition before termination, then ask the employer for a "reasonable accommodation" of his condition. If the employer does not provide a reasonable accommodation, then he may have a legal claim.

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