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TexLaw, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
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Hi, I called in sick today after the Labor Day holiday and

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I called in sick today after the Labor Day holiday and was told by my supervisor that I have to bring in a note from a doctor. However, there is no written policy for this and when I asked her why a letter was needed,she replied that it was at her discretion. Now, I have a good attendance record at work and have never been given a warning or even written up at all for anything! I am also unionized but I was unable to report this to the union today.Can she do this even though it is not policy and procedure? Thank you.

Hi, Thank you for your question.


Are you requesting a paid sick day off?


Would it be possible to get a doctor's note to excuse your absence?


What is the employer's written policy say exactly?


Do you work in NYC?


I look forward to hearing back from you. -zdn

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes,,I work in NYC. I have paid sick leave -10 days per year. Policy says that doctor's note is required if you call out for 3 days. There is nothing about calling out before or after a holiday.Thanks.

Thank you for your response.

NYC has just passed a law requiring that employer provide sick leave. Further, New York state employment law states that the employer is bound by the written policies it puts out. It cannot change them at will after the fact, and in this case your manager does not have discretion to require a doctor's note for one day out, if the policy only requires it after 3 days.

As that is the case, the way you play this is something to consider. If you do not come back with a doctor's note, or tell the manager that you are entitled to not have to have a note, then the manager could end up firing you. Yes, you would have a right to sue for wrongful termination and would have a right to collect unemployment, but it would require a lot of hassle.

Knowing that you can enforce your rights in the courts and collect unemployment means that you have recourse should you choose not to get a doctor's note. I can say that personally it is ridiculous for your employer to require a note for a single day off. They are trying to punish you for taking a sick day on a holiday weekend.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Thanks for your answer.So they can fire me even though it is not policy?My plan was to go in tomorrow and speak to my union. I may just have to make a MD appt and see my MD tomorrow if he is around. I plan to leave this job early next year .Thanks

They can fire you, even though it may be illegal. It would then be up to you to fight through either your union to be reinstated with back pay, or through the courts. You could also just simply take unemployment. However, the reality of it is that there is nothing you can do to stop them from firing you before the fact. You can only punish them if they wrongfully do it.

I think you should go speak to your union representative. If there is a collective bargaining agreement in place, this may give you even more rights if they wrongfully terminate you.
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