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AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13564
Experience:  19+ Years of Legal Practice in the Employment law arena.
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Does an employer have the legal right to write-up an employee

Customer Question

Does an employer have the legal right to "write-up" an employee who has missed work do to a doctor placing them on bed rest and documenting that in writting to the employer?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 8 years ago.

Dear Mrs.K,


It may depend on the status of the employee at the time of the bed rest. Important considerations could be:


Is the employee on Family Medical Leave Act leave for this illness or condition?

Is the employee on approved Short Term Disabilty?

Is the employee's 'bed rest' part of an ADA approve disability?


For instance, like any other sick day, (and if the employee is not disabled under the law such that the ADA protections would apply and if the employee is not taking FMLA ), the employee can be written up if they are breaking a rule. Some rules that may be broker are:


Failure to call in in a timely manner that they will be out sick, or

Exceeding the employees permitted sick days, etc.

Failing to complete an important project by its deadline, possibly


So, yes, the employer can have the right to a reprimand. But, depending on what has been transpiring, it also may not be permitted to take such adverse actions, as noted above.


Hope this helps!

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I am not on FMLA or any of the other Federal coverage but I am under a doctors supervision mainly because the doctor does not want be to infect anyone else. I am unable to take antibactic at the moment and my doctor feels that if she were to force them on me because my boss wants be back at work, she believes it will endanger my health. Does my boss still have legal right to "write me up"? By the way haven't missed any other days...1st call out. Is my boss just being bull-headed?
Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 8 years ago.

Your boss can do what he/she wants, unfortunately. However, consider writing your own rebuttal to this to be put in your employee file, although that might tick your boss off. Also, why are you not considering FMLA? Are you not eligible?


We has a similar situation: Employee gets bad virus (strep) combined with tonsilitis and is out for nearly 1 month, fully medicall documented, in fact, the Short Term Disability carrier covered his pay while he was out (not the employer, but the policy he paid for through the employer). Every several days to week or so, employee is at the doctor's due to (at first) very ineffectual antibiotics, then a respiratory diffculty that was ensuing, and each visit the doctor continued to keep him out of work, until finally substantial improvement was had on a new drug. For about the first 2 1/2 weeks, employee couldn't move his mouth without severe pain, so his wife would call the boss to advise he wouldn't be in if there was not doctors note yet for that day (there always was a note eventually). The assinine Boss writes him up for having his wife call, instead of him, and further ordered that any further call outs MUST be done by the employee, as if there is some rule that the employee has to physically be the one to give the notice. Although it proved ineffective, the employee did send a rebuttal to the write up to HR, at least pointing out the silliness of the boss for that particular write up. Anyway, my point is, she can write you up for whatever, except if you are on FMLA, this could be considered an adverse action that is prohibited. And yes, your boss is being bull-headed, I am sure. Some people just shouldn't be in a position of managing others - but I see it ALL the time.