Can my employer make me stay home

I had a heart attack at work my doctor has released me back to work light duties with a 15lb

restrictions. Now my job is a furniture repair technician now they took my van and am based at a local store and the store manager was okay with his warehouse guys carrying and or moving furniture to work area for me to work on. But HR sent me home and said I was not able to return until December when my doctor released me with no restrictions. Is this legal as I am released to work by my doctor I do understand about the restrictions but the store manager was accommodating.

Asked on October 19, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) The doctor has no authority over the employer: he is not an owner or executive there. He provides information about your medical condition, but cannot tell the employer what to do with that information.
2) If you cannot do the core or important functions of your job while under a 15 lb restriction, the employer does not need to employ you--that is, they can "send you home" until you are unrestricted. A "reasonable accommodation" is a change, or provision of some assistive device or technology, that lets you do *all* aspects of your job. If part of being a furniture repair technician is being able to move the furniture and you can't do that, they don't need to pay you to do only part of your job, or disrupt operations by having other persons do part of your job for you
3) Furthermore, with such a strong restriction (15 lbs is very little weight) if you are working  in a warehouse, using tools, etc. there is reasonable likelihood that while working, you will injure yourself in some way; the employer does not need to accept that risk of liability by lettng you work if injury, due to the nature of the restriction, is reasonably likely.

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