Can my employer put me on unpaid leave for being sick for a few days?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can my employer put me on unpaid leave for being sick for a few days?

I had a stomach virus that was going around. I was out for 4 days and planned to return to work my next scheduled day but my employer put me on unpaid fmla leave without my consent and I’ve been trying to get

Asked on March 16, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal, unless it happens to violate the terms of a written employment contract which you have. Otherwise, when there is no contract, employment is "employment at will" and the employer can decide to discipline an employee for missing work (such as by suspension), to  suspend an employee because he or she may be contagious and the employer does not want that at work, etc. Without a contract, you may be suspended (put on unpaid leave) at any time, for reason, for any period or duration, and have no right to go back to work--you can only go back when the employer lets you.

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