Can my employer make me work or fire me if I have a doctor’s note?

I just got out of the hospital and have an infected tooth/teeth which now I will have to go to the dentist for. I shortly after delivered my doctor’s note for the next 3 days off. The doctor doesn’t want me working with how much pain I’m in and also because of the medications. Well shortly after I received a message stating I am responsible to get my shifts covered. What are my rights? Do I have to go into work even though I provided them with a doctor’s note.?

Asked on January 1, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

A doctor's note is not legally binding on an employer. Therefore, unless you have sick time or PTO to cover your absence, your company can fire you if you do not show up for your scheduled shift (or get someone else to cover it). The fact is that an emplyer can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit, absent some form of legally actionable discrimination. The only protection you might have is if your treatment violates the terms of a union agreement or employment contract.

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

A doctor's note is not legally binding on an employer. Therefore, unless you have sick time or PTO to cover your absence, your company can fire you if you do not show up for your scheduled shift (or get someone else to cover it). The fact is that an emplyer can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit, absent some form of legally actionable discrimination. The only protection you might have is if your treatment violates the terms of a union agreement or employment contract.


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