Can a employer terminate you for not being fit for duty, if the doctor recommend time off from work?

UPDATED: Sep 4, 2011

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Can a employer terminate you for not being fit for duty, if the doctor recommend time off from work?

5 months I was terminated from my job . The company sent me to their company psychologist for a fitness for duty test. I took the test and their doctor establish that I wasn’t fit for duty time off from work could help with therapy or that I could work in a safety sensitive position. The company terminated me and told me to become fit for duty I need to pay for my testing. So I did. I had to find a doctor of psychology and pay for another fitness for duty exam. He did the establish I was fit for duty and that I could return back to work full-duty.

Asked on September 4, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A company may not discriminate against someone owing to a disability, but 1) not all medical conditions rise to the level of disability--they must be permanent or least long lasting, beyond reasonable or ready amelioration, affect your ability to do the normal incidents of life or work, etc., and also be established or establishable as disabilities by medical evidence; and 2) even if an employee has a genuine disability, the company merely needs to make reasonable accomodations, which are accomodations, or changes, which are not too expensive or disruptive to operations. The company does not need to pay or employee someone who can't do the job, even with some accomodations. From what  you write, therefore, it may be that the company could terminate you when, without something that seems to be a cognizable disability, they were told you couldn't do the job they hired you to do--again, the company does not to employ people who cannot work.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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