Can a person be fired for following dr’s orders?

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Can a person be fired for following dr’s orders?

My husband has diabetes, and has developed a diabetic ulcer on his back the size
of an orange. After seeing the doctor, he was told absolutely no pressure on it and
no work for two days, as well as surgery tomorrow. After showing his job the
paperwork, his boss told him to come into work saying ‘ that seems a bit to much,
you’ve been working, your hygiene that’s the problem the work you did yesterday
was wrong and incomplete’ my question is well to me this is unacceptable were
talking about the health and well being of a person and this puts him at a risk for
death what can we do about it?

Asked on August 18, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a person can be fired for following a doctor's orders: a doctor has no authority over the employer. An employee may be terminated for missing work for health reasons unless 1) the employee has earned, and uses, paid time off (PTO) to cover the absences; and/or 2) the company is covered by FMLA (at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius), the employee is eligible for (worked at least 1 year at this company; worked at least 1,250 hours in the past year), and properly requests/uses FMLA leave. Otherwise, employers may terminate employees who do not show for work, even if a doctor tells them to not work. A private employer is not a charity or government agency; they do not need to take the welfare of their employees into account.


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