Can I be fired for being out sick under doctor’s orders?

Last month I had very bad pain in my stomach to find out I have ovarian cyst

I had to be out two days doctor orders got to work with doctors note I was

still giving a written warning so last week I went to on on Monday by time I

got two hours into shift I went from being OK to I’m about to pass out told

my supervisor I went and got my vitals done by the nurse everything was high

temp 101 heart rate 112 supervisor said make sure your clear of the flu before

you return I went home come Tuesday around 830pm I feel like death is a my

door I put my cloths on to go to the emergency room but by time I had stood

up I was dizzy I sat down in the kitchen where I black out and went into

not one but two seizure long store short when I got the hospital my temp

was still a bit high so was my heart rate to find out I had strep throat I

was so high on the meds I called my job the next morning around 9am my schedule time to work is 230pm -11pm told my supervisor the same story and that I had to be out again doctor order because of the high fever and seizure

for 2 days I also said I’m clear of the flu she said feel better and okay got

to work Friday when turning in my doctor not my supervisor and the administration was there and that’s when they fired me. I have contact

cooparate of Silverado assist living and she is working on my job back but I

want to know if I have a case when had be told we should not be giving write

ups for doctor note.thanks

Asked on February 22, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In the majority of states/cities, if you're out sick for a day you have no legal protection, whether or not you have a doctor's note. The laws that protect for illness only afford coverage if you have a serious medical condition or an illness relating to a disability. The fact is that most states have "at will" employment which means that a company can set ther terms and condition of the workplace much as it sees fit. Accordingly, an employee can be fired for any reason or no reason at all; this includes being out sick.
 That having been said, under the FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act), if your employer has at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius of your workplace, if you've worked at least a year, and if you have worked at least 1,250 hours in the past year, you are entitled to up to 12 weeks of leave for a serious medical condition. However, "serious" is pretty limited. Also, you may be covered under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), so if you are out sick for a disability (which includes surgery, chemo treatment, etc.), you may have protection. The Department of Labor's website will explain further.
So your employer's action was legal unless it violated a union agreement or employment contract, or constituted some form of actionable discrimination.
 


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