Can I be fired for being sick even though I have a doctor’s note?

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Can I be fired for being sick even though I have a doctor’s note?

I have been sick and will have to be out for a week from my job. I have been diagnosed with 3 different conditions. I have been worried that they are going to fire me for missing the days that I have to work, although I do have a doctor’s note. I do not qualify to be

protected under the FMLA. I do not want to lose my job but if I do, can I file a lawsuit or not?

Asked on October 19, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Your employer does not need to honor your doctor's note. The fact is that a company is not required to give employees time off from work unless the employee has earned and used PTO (i.e. sick days or vacation time) or the employee is eligible for and used leave under the FMLA. So without either of the above 2 exceptions, if an employee misses work for medical reasons, even with a doctor's note, their employer may fire them. Bottom line, absent an employment contract/union agreement to the contrary or some form of legally ationable discrimination, a company can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. This includes when and why to terminate a worker.


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