Can employer refuse you to use doctor note to take time off as per Dr request

I received a note from my doctor stating due to my condition worsening she was requesting I remain off work for 1 week. When I presented my note to my employer they advised me to just do light duty and disregard my doctors orders. Is this legal?

Asked on September 25, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your doctor does not have any legal authority over your employer, and employers do not have to honor doctor's notes.If you have paid time off (like sick days) you earned or accrued, you can sue those to stay out to recover. If your employer has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius and have worked there at least one year (and worked at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 months), you may be able to use FMLA leave (you can find out more about your eligibility for FMLA leave and the rules for using it on the U.S. Dept. of Labor website). But if don't have or use PTO and are not eligible for or do not/cannot use FMLA leave, your employer does NOT need to let you take time off or change your duties. Your employer could have required you to still do your regular job; your employer is being generous in letting you do light duty.

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