I have been mandated to see a counselor through the EAP company that my employer uses. My boss sent a direct referral which removed my options of not going. I have not been given any exact reason for this, the bosses opinion of my haircut is one of the reasons that he thinks I am "mentally unstable"and displaying atypical behavior. The other issues that I was questioned about were explained even though they were hear say issues and not true to start with, my job performance has not suffered and any time that I have taken off work has been under the care of my dr and proper documentation from my dr has been provided. My medication has been listed and forwarded to the EAP center and the only reason they have knowledge of what I take is due to a false accusation from another employee but they won't tell me who that was. I chose to prove to them that I had legal prescriptions but it is still being used against me. Is this legal and do I have a case for suing my employer?
What type of industry are you in? If it's a highly regulated field, like the nuclear industry, the situation is governed by strict federal laws and regulations. If it's not so highly regulated, then the process may be more flexible. Generally, North Carolina is a right-to-work state, which means that your employer can fire you for any reason that doesn't violate the law or public policy. Basically, you need to be a member of a protected class (i.e. race, sex, religion, etc.). Additionally, North Carolina does not mandate that employer release corporate employment records, including accusations by fellow employees. Utilize the "Find a lawyer" feature to contact an employment & labor practitioner in your area.
This information is given for legal education only. It may not work for your specific situation. It is not legal advice, and I am not your lawyer. You have to find your own local lawyer to get legal advice and help with your problem.
In general, yes the employer can lawfully mandate that you see an EAP counselor. However, you may have certain rights under a federal law called The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). That law will likely provide you with certain rights even if you have a mental or emotional condition that impacts your performance on the job. There is nothing in these facts, by themselves, that indicate you have any case for suing your employer. But, if you are covered by the ADA, and your rights under that act are violated leading to an adverse action such as termination, then you may have a legal claim. That will be dependent on many factors.
Kirk J. Angel, licensed in NC and TN, is an experienced attorney who focuses his practice on employment law. Mr. Angel, who has practiced employment law for more than 18 years, represents clients throughout North Carolina, Eastern and Middle Tennessee. This response is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. Additionally, this response does not create an attorney client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer in your state who practices in the appropriate area.
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