Can my boss require me to schedule my dentist appointment while on maternity leave?

I have been working for my company for 4 1/2 years and am on maternity leave. I have been having problems with one of my teeth where I’ve been in to see the dentist over a dozen times to have the crown re-cemented on. I’ve always scheduled the appointments before I would have to be in at the office and would give my my boss heads-up in case it took longer than expected but never did. The crown has come off again and my general dentist has suggested I see an oral surgeon. My boss told me that I should’ve taken care of it while I was on maternity leave. Can she require me to take care of it while on leave?

Asked on July 19, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you have sick days which you have accrued, you should be able to use one for your dentist visit, so long as you follow all policies and procedures for doing so.

However, if you are not using sick days or similar PTO for this purpose, your  employer is entitled to tell you that you may not be late to or miss work for it. Employers do not need to allow employees to miss work, even part-days, for medical care, unless the employee is using PTO of some kind he or she earned as part of compensation. Employers can otherwise require employees to take care of medical issues on their own time.


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