Like the doctor, maybe I didn't word it very well. If she's a receptionist, fine, deal with her as long as possible. If she's a surgical assistant, he almost has to let her go because of the liability. As for giving her busy work, you can only do that so long. The oral surgeons/dentists I know don't exactly have deep enough pockets to pay her a salary for not doing her job and also pay someone else to do the job she was supposed to do. He did her a favor in laying her off so that she could collect her unemployment benefits. And from reading the letter, it looks as though he wrote it from an HR point of view. Essentially insuring that the lay off was through no fault of her own and that she would be welcomed back with open arms when she was again able to perform her duties. Like it or not, the lady having a horrible disease does not mean the business can keep the doors open without making a profit.