What are my rights to work for home when recovering from surgery?

My employer required that I reschedule a surgery, scheduled for this month, for another 2 months. I will be off work for a minimum of 4 weeks. I currently have the ability to work remotely from home and do so occasionally. I asked my doctor if I could work from home during my recovery period and he indicated that he could approve that since my job consists of 90% computer work. My employer told me that I have to fill out FMLA leave paperwork, apply for our self-insured short-term disability insurance, work from home during my absence from the office and get paid via our short-term disability at 66.67% of my pay because I would not be in the office to visually supervise my staff of 2. Is this legal?

Asked on September 10, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It is perfectly legal. There is no law requiring an employer to allow employees to work at home, even if it would be better for the employee and even if it really wouldn't hurt the employer at all though if you have employees to supervise, not being present to supervise them does impact your job and employer--employers are allowed to define their jobs, including where and how they must be done. There is also no law requiring an employer to honor a doctor's note the doctor is not a judge, and is not an owner or executive of the company, and so has no authority over it. The employer has done its duty and advised you of your rights and options.


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