Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
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Whether to accept a doctor's note as an excuse for a work absence is usually at the employer's discretion. Companies can legally impose disciplinary action for excessive absences even when employees have doctors' notes. An employer might choose to accept a doctor's note for infrequent illnesses or injuries, and refuse other sick notes if it does not believe their validity. In your case, however, you the employer may have contractual restrictions to denying the sick note because you are in a union with a contract that I'm sure addresses absences or at least has a just cause termination provision.
Similarly, plantar fasciatius is not a permanent disability or even one that requires in patient care, thus you do not qualify as disabled or having a serious injury under the ADA or FMLA. As such, any discipline or discharge for the absence would have to be via your union collective bargaining agreement.
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