Can I be written up for being late to work after coming in from a funeral?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I be written up for being late to work after coming in from a funeral?

I started this job 2 months ago; I’m a vet technician for a private veterinarian hospital. I got word of my aunt passing last week. The wake and funeral took place on Sunday and Monday, 08/12 and 08/13. As soon I noticed that I wouldn’t make it to work on time, I called and let my employer know. I could tell that they were annoyed and simply told me to go home. I don’t work on Tuesdays so that was my first day back. After dealing with their not so subtle annoyances with me from asking questions, I decided to speak up and remind them that I was still new and learning. After I did, they pulled me into the office to write me up for being late on Monday. New Link Destination
me this seems ridiculously unfair and cruel. Is this legal?

Asked on August 15, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, New York


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless you had vacation time or PTO to cover your absence, you could in fact be written up by your employer unless you were afforded protection from this action under the terms of a union agreement or an employment contract. Otherwise, as an "at will" worker your company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination).

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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