Can my employer ask me to cancel my medical appointment?

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Can my employer ask me to cancel my medical appointment?

I asked for a sick leave day and was given a verbal approval. The next week I was told about a meeting and although I reminded them of my appointment, I was told that I was expected to be at the meeting.

Asked on February 8, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that an employer does not have to honor requested time off. Unless you have a written employment contract or union agreement, you are an "at will" worker. This means that you can be terminated for any reason or no reason at all. Accordingly, you will have to decide whether the risk of missing this appointment, is more important than the risk of losing your job. Further, without more facts, it's not clear if you are protected by the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA"), which makes it illegal for a company to discriminate against employees because of their health issues, as long as they can still do their job; in some cases it even mandates that employers "accomodate" a disabled worker. The Act covers a very wide range of people, including those who are being treated for physical/mental illness.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that an employer does not have to honor requested time off. Unless you have a written employment contract or union agreement, you are an "at will" worker. This means that you can be terminated for any reason or no reason at all. Accordingly, you will have to decide whether the risk of missing this appointment, is more important than the risk of losing your job. Further, without more facts, it's not clear if you are protected by the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA"), which makes it illegal for a company to discriminate against employees because of their health issues, as long as they can still do their job; in some cases it even mandates that employers "accomodate" a disabled worker. The Act covers a very wide range of people, including those who are being treated for physical/mental illness.


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