Can I be penalized with extra work and hours because of being out of work due to medical procedure/issues?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I be penalized with extra work and hours because of being out of work due to medical procedure/issues?

I was out of work for three weeks due to a medical issue. The company I work for has a contract with another company for maintenance services. Upon my return, the customer had been asking if there was going to be a refund due to my absence.

Prior, to my leave for this medical issue. There were discussions about a project that was in the works and my employer had given a quote to our customer for the cost of labor to have someone come in and complete this particular project. The cost was 100.00 hr.

The second day back to work I was called into my managers office and he told me that the customer wanted a refund or I could make up my time lost by completing this project. My employer has stated they spoke with HR and they could do this. They are adding unscheduled days to me along with this project.

Can I be penalized for being out of work due to illness? I just had a yearly review and I had very good marks/remarks. I feel I am being picked on by the customer.

Asked on April 1, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unless you have an employment contract, an employer may schedule you for extra work if they need or want to do so to make customers happy, even if the reason they need or want to do this is that you'd missed work for a medical reason. If you are hourly, you must be paid for all additional work you do, including overtime as applicable (more than 40 hours/week); they cannot make you work for free if you are hourly. (If salaried exempt, you can be made to work extra without additional compensation.)

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.

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