Can my employer demand I come into work if I’ve told them that I can’t?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can my employer demand I come into work if I’ve told them that I can’t?

I spoke with my boss via messenger 4 hours before the start of my scheduled shift to tell her that I would be unable to work the shift. I explained that my father was sick and so I had to stay home with him. She told me that I would just have to figure something out because she could not cover my shift, so I either had to be at work or find someone to work for me. Is that legal?

Asked on July 13, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unless you were eligible to use PTO (i.e. sick leave or vacation time), you had no legal excuse for being absent from your job. Accordingly, while unfair, your employer's action was legal. That is so long as your treatment did not constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination (i.e. it was due solely to your race, religion, gender, disability, etc.) or it violated the terms of a union agreement/employment contract.

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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