Can an employer require you to come in to work so they can determine if you are too sick to work?

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Can an employer require you to come in to work so they can determine if you are too sick to work?

Employee calls in sick – employer requires the employee to come in so the employer can determine how sick said employee is. Is this legal in the state of Indiana?

Asked on March 27, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Beleive it or not, this is legal so long as you did not use a sick day to cover this time (or the time was covered under the FMLA or ADA). The fact is that most employment is "at will", which means that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit, absent some form of actionable discrimination. This includes having a sick employee report to work. So unless your treatment violated the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, it was perfectly permissable.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If the employee had and used a sick day, the employer could not make them come in on a sick day, since to do so deprives them of the benefit of that sick day, which they had earned as part of compensation.
If the employee did not have or use a sick day, then the employer can require this, because they are not required to let the employee call in sick at all--that is, employees who don't have or use sick days can be terminated for missing work due to illness. Since being allowed to call out is something employers voluntarily choose to allow, they can also put requirements on it, such as coming in and touching base so the employer can confirm illness.


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