What are my rights if I’m being penalized due to being off as per doctor’s orders?

I have been with the same company for 6.5 years. About 5 months ago, I was put off work for a week due to an illness in which it was doctor’s orders to be off. When I returned to work after being off I was pulled in the office by my boss who gave me a verbal warning about my attendance and was told the next time I called off I would be moved to 2nd shift because he has a lot easier time finding coverage for that shift. This past week I was sick went to the doctor and was put off for a couple days due to an illness and a highly contagious rash. When I returned to work laying on the managers desk was a write-up stating that I was warned about my excessive absences and that I was being moved to 2nd shift and the next time it will be a 2 day suspension and/termination. I was not given the write-up but found 2 different schedules for next week – 1 owith me not on it at all and 1 with me on it working strictly 2nd shift. I am a single mother of 2 small children and I am currently attending college as well; I really feel like I am being treated unfairly. I have followed their attendance policy as they ask that you call in 1 hour before your shift starts; I call anywhere from 2 to 3 hours before and when I go to the doctor if it requires any extra time off I call and let my boss know ASAP. Is there anything I can do about this?

Asked on September 9, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I can surely understand how upset you must be.  But unless you have an employment agreement that protects or what is known as a documented disability and that disability is recognized as protected under the law you are an employee at will and you can be terminated for any reason or no reason at all.  You sound as if you have done the right thing in each instance but unless you can fit in one of these catagories you need to watch what is happeneing at work carefully or possibly find a new job.  Good luck.

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