Can my employer force me to work at home if due to their drug free workplace certification since I am on prescribed medication?

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Can my employer force me to work at home if due to their drug free workplace certification since I am on prescribed medication?

I have an office desk job. I have a bulging disc that began causing pain about 6 weeks ago, so was prescribed hydrocodone and muscle relaxer. I worked in the office all during that time. I recently sprained my ankle at home due to remaining numbness in my foot from the back problem. They are now saying that due to their drug free workplace certification they cannot have me in the office while I am still taking these medications. They have no suspicion of drug abuse. I take 1-2 half doses of the prescribed pain meds, maybe 1 of those being while at work and not everyday. This medication does not leave me impaired. Further, I am no longer taking the muscle relaxer during the day. I was working in the office while taking higher doses much more often. Working from home costs me hours as not quite everything I do can be done from home. This is a small company with 5 employees.

Asked on November 29, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

An employee's work location is up to the discretion of their employer, unless there is a union agreement or employment contract to the contrary. The fact is that most work relationships are "at will". This means that a company can set the conditions of work much as they see fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination, etc.). Accordingly, if working from home is unacceptable to you, you can complain to your employer but risk termination, or you can quit.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

An employer has the discretion to determine where an employee will work. If they believe that it is in their best interest to have you work at home, they have the right to do that. Location of work is one of the many things under an employer's sole control.


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