Can I be fired for not being able to go to work for 2 days with a doctors note?

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Can I be fired for not being able to go to work for 2 days with a doctors note?

I was bitten by a spider and went to doctor.I was given
antibiotic and a doctors note. My hand was swollen also.

Asked on August 6, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A doctor's note does not automatically exempt an employee from work. It is up to an employer as to whether or not to excuse such an absence. Accordingly, unless you had PTO or sick leave to cover this time out, your empolyer was with its rights to terminate your employment. The fact is that an empoyee can be fired for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice. This is true unless such action constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination or violates the terms of an employment contract or union/collective bargaining agreement.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A doctor has no authority over your employer: the doctor cannot tell the employer the employer must excuse your absence. If it was an unauthorized absence--that is, if you did not have and use paid time off (like sick leave) to cover the absence and/or did not qualify for and use FMLA leave, then the employer could terminate you, even with the doctor's note. The law does not make employer's keep employees with unexcused or unauthorized absences.


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