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Terminating someone who can no longer perform the job due to declining health?

Employee has been with us for 8 years but has developed health problems which makes it difficult to hold a full-time job. The performance of her department has gone from making a profit of $100K in 2014 to a $125K loss so far this year.

We have tried to accommodate by setting up a home office for her (computer, telephone, etc.) but it is still necessary for her to travel to attend meetings and to supervise her subordinates.

We have provided a company car for her but her seizure condition makes it illegal for her to hold a driver's license (our state motor vehicle department is not aware of her condition so has not officially taken her license away).

Employee has also stated to us that she may get a prescription for medical marijuana to alleviate some of the symptoms. Drug use by our employees is strictly forbidden and grounds for termination.

We feel like this situation is a train wreck from a liability perspective. And the employee has hinted that she would take us to the state labor board if we terminated her.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Answers

Len Green
Title: Performance Improvement Consultant and E..
Company: Haygarth Consulting LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Performance Improvement Consultant and ERP Strategist, Haygarth Consulting LLC) |

Only two pieces of advice:
1. Document, document, document all interactions, verbal, email, etc.
2. Call a labor attorney who knows your state labor laws.

Anonymous
(Director of Finance) |

You bring up an interesting point regarding drug use. If someone were on a prescription (from their doctor) for a painkiller, would they be subject to termination? What about the significant use of an over-the counter medication? Despite the conflict in some areas between local and federal law, if this person has a prescription from their doctor, I think that you may have a legal battle if you include that item in the discussion.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Take Lens advice; talk to your General Counsel or better yet a Labor and Employment Lawyer (which you should have done at the beginning).

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