Hello to all experts actually our management wants to give show cause notice to an employee on medical treatment grounds because he/she has suffered from a medical disease which may be TB as he/she has cough problem since more than 6 months and he/she has kept on spitting and coughing during office hours, which may not be good for the health safety of our existing staff, as it may be transmissible disease.

I want to know on what basis I can give him/her the show cause notice for giving medical treatment time for the sake of safety of our existing staff specially during this pandemic time. Kindly required your guidance.

From India, Mukerian
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Labour Law & Hr Consultant

Dear member,

A show-cause notice is issued when an employee commits some misconduct. However, the misconduct must be defined in the standing orders. Therefore, the question that arises is whether "suppression of communicable disease" or "suppression of medical unfitness" has been included as misconduct in your standing orders or not.

Secondly, a show-cause notice cannot be issued merely on suspicion. What proof do you have to prove that the employee is suffering due to Tuberculosis (TB)?

Notwithstanding what I have written above, precaution must be taken to stop the spread of communicable or contagious diseases. Pulmonary diseases are contagious. Therefore, the health of other employees is also important. However, you need to handle this matter with due sensitivity. Anybody can suffer due to any disease. Today, the employee could be suffering due to some disease, however, once cured, he could prove an asset to the company in the future. Therefore, it would not be fair to give him a blow of a show-cause notice. As an HR professional, it is your job to counsel him to get cured as soon as possible.

To handle this matter, you may call the employee to your cabin and ask him why he has been unable to cure his cough for the last six months and what medication he has taken. Tell him that his prolonged coughing makes other employees uneasy, and in the interest of all, he must take medical treatment. Above all, advise him to submit a medical fitness certificate. In the medical certificate, it must be written that he is not suffering due to any disease that can spread to other employees.

After the personal counselling session, as a follow-up, you may send him a notice for producing a medical certificate. However, it needs not be a show-cause notice. Along with the medical certificate, advise the employee to submit the medical test reports also.


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Probably the poster might have misunderstood the meaning of ' show cause' notice in his excess of enthusiasm to implement the orders of his management.

The acts of the employee described in the post are not misbehaviour but indication of his chronic sickness. If it can affect the work place atmosphere or others as the management apprehends, what is needed at this stage is a patient counselling by the HR advising the employee to take appropriate medical treatment forthwith and if necessary immediate sanction of sick leave or any other leave subject to availability. If he refuses to oblige on some reason or other, it is better to refer him to a medical board to ascertain whether he is fit to work in a crowded work place without affecting the health of others.

From India, Salem
Dear sir, I too face such situation. Pls advice on how to approach medical board. Is this a Govt forum and what if the forum says if he is medically un fit. Madhan S
From India, Madras
Dear Madan,

A medical board would be normally constituted by the District Medical Officer or the Superintendent of a Govt. Head Quarters Hospital at your request.
Board's decision is final and it would be accepted by any Court of Law.

From India, Salem
Dear sir, Thank you so much for your valuable reply. Madhan S
From India, Madras

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