Know your employer's sick leave policy. Most employers
require that you call in as soon as you know you won't make it. No law requires
paid sick leave.
Family and Medical Leave: applies if you have a serious medical
condition and need several days off, or need intermittent leave for treatment.
Accommodations: if you have an illness that qualifies as a disability,
you might be entitled to accommodations that will enable you to perform all the
duties of your job.
Excessive absenteeism: unless you qualify for FMLA leave or have a
disability for which you are seeking accommodations, your employer can fire you
for any reason, including absenteeism. Know what they consider excessive. If
you have to come to work sick, that's better than losing your job.
a. Lots of people express surprise that they were fired after being sick. "But
I had a doctor's note!" they say. A doctor's note won't help you unless you
qualify for FMLA leave or an ADA accommodation. 90% of life is just showing up.
(Woody Allen). Your employer is entitled to have you at work.
b. If you are contagious, then your employer requiring you to come in anyhow
might be an OSHA violation. You can point this out, but don't be insubordinate.
c. If ordered to come in, then rent a stretcher if you have to. Unless going to
work endangers your life, comply with the boss's order to come to work. Appeal
to HR if you can, but don't lose your job.
See more employment law posts on Donna
Ballman's blog, Screw You Guys, I'm Going Home.
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