In an advice column in the New York Times magazine, an anonymous lawyer wrote that their receptionist had eight of her front teeth knocked out after a fall and has not yet replaced them. This concerns the lawyer as this is not the face they want representing their law firm. Within the firm, the employees do have dental coverage but the receptionist says she is afraid of surgery and therefore does not plan on fixing her teeth. The New York lawyer posed the question “Can I require her to fix her teeth or get dentures as a condition of continued employment?”
Is it inappropriate for the lawyer to tell their employee to fix their teeth? If she has a severe fear of dental surgery should she be forced? Is this similar to asking your employee to lose weight to keep their job?