Can I receive unemployment if I was fired for not calling out sick even though I had a doctor’s note?

UPDATED: Jul 24, 2011

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Can I receive unemployment if I was fired for not calling out sick even though I had a doctor’s note?

I was sick for 2 days but only called out for the first day that I was sick. I stated that I was not feeling well and would not be able to come in to work. I went to the doctor’s that day and received a note excusing me for work for 2 days but I did not call my employer the for the second day and so my supervisor called me saying I must come in. I told her I could not because I was still sick and she said I needed to call out both days and said I would be fired because I was “AWOL”. I work for the USPS. We I be able to receive unemployment?

Asked on July 24, 2011 Connecticut


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, in most employment situations, you must call in every day absent a long term or short term disability or pre-approved Family Medical Leave Act absence. If you had a doctor's note, you were supposed to probably send that to your employer or at least call in and indicate you would not be in and that you would have documentation of your absence if one was required. Some employers only require documentation after more than three days of absence. If your employee handbook requires certain steps be taken in medical absences or sick time, and you did not abide by such steps, you need to see what the handbook states in terms of your possible penalties, Further, you need to find out from the state of Connecticut if you were unlawfully fired and you may wish to include this in your unemployment compensation application. Most often, states will not pay unemployment benefits for those who were fired for cause. So you need to argue that while you were fired, you were not really fired for cause or at least should not have been.

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