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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? Florida

I am in a strange situation. Out of the blue a few months ago I was called to HR and was told that I allegedely made threatening remarks to co-workers to the substance of "one of these days I am going to blow up this place" combined with documented instances of my being emotionally upset (crying) at work following a breakup with my fiance months earlier. they put me on suspension w/pay and adv. me I needed to see a counselor to see if I was okay. the counselor pronounced me "fine" and not a danger to anyone, which a fitness for work evaluation also confirmed. the psychologist did however recommend additional grief counseling regarding my loss on a short-term basis. I do not have insurance, and I have been told it is my responsibility to go to this counseling, at my own cost, or face the possibility of termination. HR and my managers have already confirmed that there is in no way any problem with my work performance, and at the initial meeting, they said flat out that none of this is affecting my work performance in the least. Upon completing my fitness for work evaluation, I was able to return to work, but it is pending my continued involvement in the counseling process until my counselor states it is no longer necessary, presumably up to 3 months.

My question is...... is this legal, if my company claims that my work performance has not been affected by my presumed sadness, how can my job to subject to completion of such a program at my expense? I have not violated any of the guidelines in any company handbook, and have zero occurrences of displayed anger with any customer or colleague, disregarding my excellent reviews up to this point. If I was dismissed because of this, would I have a case?


Senior Member
Yes, it's legal. Your employer has what they believe to be a credible report of you making a threat of violence in the workplace. When you combine that with your recent history of personal loss and visible emotional upset, your employer has a valid reason to be absolutely certain of your stability before allowing you to return to work.

They could have terminated you immediately once the threat was brought to their attention (even if the report of your comments was incorrect). Having chosen to suspend you instead, they didn't have to pay you while you were off work either.

Your employer has acted in very good faith towards you, even if they are being overly cautious. If they wish you to complete a course of counseling before they agree to return you to work, they may.

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