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They can require that you have a release from your doctor to work. Now, if you have restrictions on your work and lifting more than 20 lbs is something that you would ever be required to do as part of your job, they can require that you not return to work until you have been fully released.
You can file for unemployment, but they will likely deny your unemployment if you are under restrictions from a doctor.
So, I would have your doctor release you to work or schedule the surgery more quickly, because the employer is regrettably not in violation of any law by keeping you from work.
thank you. I am heading to the doctors office now so I will have them write a letter to my employer.