Q: Can I terminate an employee with a doctor note that states he can only work from home (vs. office) due to health issues?
I am not asking specifically about during COVID, just in general.
A: Not if the employee can be accommodated to work from home. What that means is that if he can do the essential functions of his job by working from home without creating an undue hardship on the employer, then you as the employer will be required to extend that reasonable accommodation. Mere inconvenience or discomfort with an employee working from home will not be enough to deny the accommodation.
It would be wise to get specific, confidential advice on this. Good luck.
A: I see you are writing from Clayton, NC. Mr. Pedersen and I are in California. I can tell you that the laws here would hang you out to dry if you did that, but in NC, you may be looking at governance by the ADA. Neither of us can opine what the NC laws are because we did not spend years learning them and watching them develop through various case opinions. What Mr. Pedersen said is a good description of what you are looking at, for the very MINIMUM obligations. You definitely need to speak to an attorney that specializes in employment discrimination law in NC, before you take any such actions.
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