If I have sick days and call off for 1 day with a doctor’s excuse, can they take a days pay?

I’m a mail carrier and had a reaction to medication for psoriasis. My feet and legs swelled really bad so I went to urgent care. They told me to go to the emergency room. I went and they put me on meds that make me urinate very often and gave me an excuse to be off 1 day. My employer called me into office and stated that I was written up and will not get paid for that day although I have sick days.

Asked on May 24, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that you must be paid if you use an available sick day (or PTP). Conversely, if you don't take a sick day (or PTO), then your employer does not have to pay you for your absence. This is subject to an employment or union agreement to the contrary. That all having been ssaid, if you use a sick day but are not paid, then you hace a claim, however whether or not it's worth pursuing is up to you. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If you use a paid sick day for the day, you must be paid. If you do not use the day, they do not have to pay you. There is no law ever requiring employers to pay employees for days they do not work or use paid time off. So tell them you are using a sick day and you should be paid for it--if not, you legally could sue for the day's pay (though whether its worthwhile to sue for one day is a different story).

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