Can my employer fire me if I choose to follow my doctor’s note and miss work tomorrow?

If so what rights if any do I have? I am in the first 90 days of my employment and have an at will contract. We may only miss 8 hours in this 90 days. I missed 5 hours today to go to the ER. My doctor gave me a note for today and excused me for tomorrow.

Asked on November 13, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Of course your employer can fire you if you do not go into work--an employer is not obligated to retain employees who miss work. The fact that you have a doctor's note is irrelevant: 1) the doctor has no authority over your employer; and 2) the law does not require employers to give employees time off to be sick or seek medical attention (that is, sick time, for example, is not required by law). Your doctor has no right to "excuse" you from work, and your doctor should know that--but even if he doesn't, your employer can still fire you.

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