Is it lawful for the employer to terminate me if I can go to work (but can work from home) due to medical reasons?

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asked on Oct 18, 2019 at 16:16
Hi experts-experts,

I have a severe immune system/skin condition where exposure to the sun, heat, outdoor, frictions against clothes, etc should be avoided if possible.  And also my whole body is full of lesions especially on my feet, and wearing sandals/slippers/etc really hurts as it basically rubs against the raw, thin skin.

I have 2 doctor's reports stating my conditions and I presented them to my employer, in the beginning they seems to be fine with it, but after 3 weeks of working from home (but I still went in for important meeting, "withstand" the itch and pain for a few hours then went home), HR and my manager told me that if I still can't go office and work, they will terminate me.

My question is:  Is this legal?

Note: I am in IT line where almost all works can be done by dialing in remotely.

Thanks in advance for your help.  Have a nice day.
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3 Answers

answered on Oct 30, 2019 at 22:57
Come work with us, we welcome all, diversity 😬
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answered on Oct 31, 2019 at 10:41
It depends on the grounds of the potential dismissal -  declining work performance as a result of not going into office or purely because of your medical condition? If your work performance is not being affected as a result of working from home, you have a good case to fight. Do you work for an MNC or local company? Most MNC companies have a whistle blower hotline and you can lodge a complain to your overseas HQ if you feel you are being victimized for your medical condition and not for performance reasons.

If you are being singled out for your medical condition and not because of poor work performance, local management often fears most when HQ Compliance gets involved and conducts an internal investigation .

Good luck!
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answered on Nov 1, 2019 at 23:11
@airan, really??
@alexfai, thanks for your reply. No, my performance was not affected during the time I work from home.
Let me update further on this case, a week after the scary meeting, I started coming to office and work.  There are many small meeting rooms at the next building (also rented by my company), they have individual air-cond that I can adjust to as cold as I want to, so I don't feel itchy.  A little privacy where I can scratch or put ice packs at certain “places.”
I bought whatever I can, a small fan, ice box (to hold the ice that I bought from 7-11 or canteen), Ice bags, “ice shovel”, hotel slippers, gloves, etc so I could live.
(Now it is worth mentioning that I got the green light from using meeting room during that scary meeting)
In less than a week later, I got ‘indirect’ question on why sit in a meeting room instead of my own seat? 
I was not stupid, so I quietly packed my stuff and started sitting at my seat 3 days ago.
I know what is in your mind now:
~ what is wrong with my seat?  - Centralised air-cond, ~ 24C – “green”, environmental whatever.  One word, HOT.
The first day It was ok as the weather was not so hot and it was only ½ day (you know it always rains in the afternoon)
Second day I had to rush home during lunch time before the itchiness and pain eat me alive. (thus incurring ½ day more of working-from-home-in-advance).
Today, the day starts with more scratching on my back, and arms, places where fabric and flesh meet.  Luckily I am on ½ day today.

All the above was either via email, verbal, whatsapp between me and immediate managers, HR is not involved.

Do you think I should put all this down in black and white just in case I need to use them.

Thank you and have a nice weekend.
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