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Friday, November 18, 2011

What You Need To Know About Missing Work Due to Illness

Know your employer’s sick leave policy. Most employers require that you call in as soon as you know you won’t make it. No law requires paid sick leave.

Family and Medical Leave: applies if you have a serious medical condition and need several days off, or need intermittent leave for treatment.

Accommodations: if you have an illness that qualifies as a disability, you might be entitled to accommodations that will enable you to perform all the duties of your job.

Excessive absenteeism: unless you qualify for FMLA leave or have a disability for which you are seeking accommodations, your employer can fire you for any reason, including absenteeism. Know what they consider excessive. If you have to come to work sick, that’s better than losing your job.

Donna’s tips:

a. Lots of people express surprise that they were fired after being sick. “But I had a doctor’s note!” they say. A doctor’s note won’t help you unless you qualify for FMLA leave or an ADA accommodation. 90% of life is just showing up. (Woody Allen). Your employer is entitled to have you at work.

b. If you are contagious, then your employer requiring you to come in anyhow might be an OSHA violation. You can point this out, but don’t be insubordinate.

c. If ordered to come in, then rent a stretcher if you have to. Unless going to work endangers your life, comply with the boss’s order to come to work. Appeal to HR if you can, but don’t lose your job.


  1. Well, this post would be of great help to anyone who would come to read this one. Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts. Damiana

  2. I have to say that I can't agree with this post. No job is worth putting yourself at risk. If you're so sick that you need a "stretcher", you shouldn't be at work. Period, the end. I think it is absolute crap that workplaces don't have to honor doctors and hospital notes. I am experiencing this problem at work right now, but I can tell you that my health is much more important to me than this job. What good is a job if you're dead? It's unfortunately true that your workplace will harass you about absences and not excuse them even when you have perfectly good documentation, and it is certainly true that you will have to go into work sick a lot of times, but DON'T go into work if you're so sick that you will be putting others at risk (you did touch on this in part b), or that you will be potentially harming yourself. Sometimes going to work sick is NOT better than losing your job--it depends on how sick you are.

  3. Yes and no... I disagree with getting a doctors note unless it is life or death. Why lose that time. If you hate your job then find a new one. Don't get a doctors note unless you are contagious. Don't make up reason's. I have had sore shoulders I could have went to the doctors to get a note. But if you want to really do something you won't get a note for that which you can.

  4. I would like too tell you about Randy Clingerman, Randy had worked for Wal-mart in Simpsonville, sc for a few years from Sam's club and all the wal-mart that had changed out there flooring. Randy became sick in August 2011, Randy had been out of work for about three weeks, Randy received a call from the Wal-mart Simpsonville, sc store Telling Randy. That if he didn't come in they would let him go. Randy went in that night as sick as he was. When Randy got there they took Randy in the Bad office. Told Randy they were letting him Go! Now with out have a job Now having No health Insurance. Randy found out about a Month later that Randy just was sick, But has lung Cancer. Randy never smoked but Did clean floors all the years he worked for Wal-mart