Can my job fire me if I have a doctor’s note?

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Can my job fire me if I have a doctor’s note?

I hurt my hand and called my boss and told him. However, he said that I was fired .I told him that I had a doctor’s note but he said it didn’t matter.

Asked on May 30, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A doctor's note has no legal effect--employers are not obligated to honor it. If you missed work without approval or permission--or without using sick days or other PTO to cover the absence--or if you are unable to do your job due to the injury, your employer may terminate you because of the injury or the absence. The exception would be if your employer was covered by the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which means it has at least 50 employees; you are eligible under FMLA, which means, among other things, that you have worked at least 12 months for this company and worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months; the injury is sufficient to qualify you to take FMLA leave (you can find the criteria at the U.S.  Department of Labor website, under "Family and Medical Leave Act"); AND you actually took FMLA leave--if all those requirements are met, then your employer most likely cannot terminate you. However, otherwise, they most likely can.


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