Does your employer have the right to not let your doctor’s note excuse an absence?

My son had a concussion yesterday and I was out to take him to get looked at. I

called my supervisors and had informed them it was a serious issue. I told them I

would bring in a doctors note, which I did do. And then I was told that even

though I brought in a doctors note it did not excuse the absence. Is that even

legal? And if so why am I even bothering to go out of my way to get said doctors

note ?

Asked on March 22, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

A doctor's note has no legal effect on an employer. A company can request that one be provided but can decide whether or not to honor it. That is unless such an action would violate the terms of any exisiting employment contract or union agreement. The fact is that most employment is "at will" which means that a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit (absent some form of actionable discrimination).

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