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Forcing Sick Employees To Go Home

FILE (credit: Getty Images)

FILE (credit: Getty Images)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Can your employer force you to go home if you’re sick?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers had even bigger issues on their minds than their abysmal record when they faced the Eagles in October. At the time, three of their players had been diagnosed with MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant infection that sidelined two of the players from the game. The third played.

No word on how close the unlucky Eagle who had to guard him got.

While the Bucs are expected to make a full recovery – from the illness, not the season – employees who hear their coworkers hacking at the next cubicle over want to know can a company force an employee to go home if he’s sick?

An employer can’t discriminate against an individual with a disability, and can’t let personal prejudice against the disabled dictate personnel policies. But a cold or infection that one will get over (but not soon enough for his coworker’s liking) is not considered a disability.

Not only can an employer send a germy employee home, it should have a policy that says that if you pose a danger of infection to others, go home, and then come back and tackle your work when you’re all better.

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