Southgate, MI asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Michigan

Q: Can my employer furlough me due to being high risk during the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan?

My employer said they are going to furlough all parttime employees and 1 full-time employee. They asked for volunteers. Another employee, with less seniority, volunteered. Then my employer told me that because of a previous medical condition I need a note from my doctor stating I am not a "vulnerable adult or high risk" or they were going to have to furlough me instead. Can they do that? They didn't ask anybody else for any documentation and I have been back to work full-time for over a year since I was out on a medical leave.

1 Lawyer Answer
Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Columbus, OH

A: While your employer can prevent you from coming to work if you've been diagnosed with COVID-19, it cannot treat you differently or require any further documentation from you based on any medical condition that could put you at greater risk for COVID-19. If your employer furloughs you instead of someone else on this basis, then you may have a claim for disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 based on your employer's perceived belief that you are disabled and at high risk for COVID-19.

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