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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12051
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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My son works in food service. His employer provides no

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My son works in food service. His employer provides no health insurance and he does not get paid if he calls in sick. However, his manager says he must bring a note from the doctor if he calls in sick. We applied for Medicaid (he is fully eligible) in October, and updated again in January, but are still waiting on a determination. my question is this
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Can his employer require that he bring a doctors note?. I am taking care of him, and I know he is sick. He has no health coverage right now.
JA: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?
Customer: Part time
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: We live in Arkansas

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

As unfair as I know it is, yes, an employer can require an employee to provide a doctor's note, even if the employer does not offer health insurance and even if the employee doesn't have health insurance. I am very sorry and I wish I had better news.

If I can clarify anything at all for you, please do not hesitate to ask. It is my pleasure to assist you further if necessary....

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
you are saying that he can be fired, legally, if he does not bring a doctors note?

That is correct, unfortunately.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
What other options would we have, other than paying $150 or more to see a doctor?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
For example, I can write a note, that he was under my care, etc., etc. I guess it is up to the employers discretion. I would certainly mention that I am consulting a lawyer! Hahahaha! Arkansas is a right to work state....so I know we are basically screwed.....
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
But if his attendance is Therese good, why would they really fire him?

If it were me in this situation I'd take the completely honest approach and explain that I don't have health coverage because I can't afford it, and that if my employer would like a doctor's note they will need to cover the cost of the doctor's visit. If they don't want to do that, I'll explain that they have to take my word I am sick.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Otherwise good

Yes, it seems like termination would be a gross overreaction. Of course I don't know your employer and can't predict what they will do, but I do have a hard time believing they'd fire an employee with good attendance over something like this.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
perhaps if I have a civil, courteous discussion over the matter, they would perhaps make an "exception".

Exactly. That's really the approach you want to take. You don't really have any legal leverage here, so you want to work with your employer. The bot***** *****ne is that employers don't terminate employees without what they feel is a good reason. It costs time and money to hire replacements, so firing employers without a good reason just hurts their business. If your son can explain in courteous and professional terms why he can't provide the doctor's note unless his employer pays, but that he's happy to cooperate in any other way that he can, I just can't imagine an employer taking disciplinary action under those circumstances.

Again if there is anything more I can do for you just let me know. It's my pleasure....

Was there anything else I can do for you?

Patrick, Esq. and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you.

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