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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 118201
Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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hope you can help with this question a family member is about

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hope you can help with this question a family member is about 2 months pregnant and has started a new job in the private sector. she has been ill and missed a day of work but has a letter from her doctor for that day she as ended up in the emergency room. she was given a letter of reprimand from the employer for this one day stating it was unacceptable. she has been ill a lot with her first child and has gone to work ill afraid to take off fearing she will be reprimanded. Is there any documentation she can get from her doctor to help her through these tough days that the employer will have to honor? she is not eligible for family medical leave yet ,I believe you have to have a certain amount of hours on the job which she does not have. she said her supervisor said the employee manual says there is no exception or allowance for missed days that it can be held against her. I told her to check the manual herself. If the employee manual does not state this or even if it does can they fire her if she misses work being ill?
Thank you for asking for me. Welcome back!

I am afraid that she has protection under the Family and Medical Leave Act only once she has worked there for 12 consecutive months and worked 1240 hours in that time. If she has not been there that long, then as an at will employee if she cannot come to work, even because of her pregnancy, I am afraid she could be terminated. Unfortunately, the OH Supreme Court feels the same way when it comes to the minimum service time required for the Ohio Pregnancy Discrimination Act, see:McFee v. Pataskala Oaks Care Center.

I am afraid that unless her employer offers reasonable accommodation to all employees for temporary disabilities, they do not have to offer her anything different than they offer other employees who are not pregnant. Even if the manual does not state there is no exception or allowance, as long as the manual does not specifically provide for time off, she is an at will employee she has no recourse.

The only issue would be the male employee, if she can get proof the male employee is being allowed the leave with a doctor's note AND he does not have a permanent disability that protects him under the Americans with Disabilities Act, then this is a ground for her to claim discrimination under the ADA with the EEOC and they would have to investigate to grant her the right to sue letter.

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