How long can I be suspended due to missing work because I was in the hospital?

I was just suspended for missing to much work. I was in the hospital and just got out and my boss immediately put me on suspension without pay.

Asked on June 4, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, there is no right to miss work due to illness or hospitalization. Therefore, if you missed work without properly using paid time off (e.g. sick days) which you had accrued to cover your absence and/or without employer permission, you could be fired; since you could be fired for this, you could be suspended indefinitely, or for as long as your employer wants.

It would be different if your employer was covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which means it has at least 50 employees; you are eligible under FMLA (have worked here for at least 12 months; have worked at least 1,250 hours  in the past 12 months); your illness or condition was serious enough to warrant FMLA leave (e.g. three days of hospitalization or bed care); and you provided notice that you were using FMLA leave. If this was the case, you may not be fired or suspended for using FMLA leave; but otherwise, as noted, unless you used PTO or had employer permission, your employer may suspend you as long as it likes.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.