Can they make me work when my obgyn wrote me off work for the rest of my pregnancy for my legs swelling and me full term?

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Can they make me work when my obgyn wrote me off work for the rest of my pregnancy for my legs swelling and me full term?

I’m currently 37 weeks pregnant. At my doctor’s appointment my doctor told me to stay off my feet and rest because I’m retaining water real bad. I’m on public cash assistance and work 20 hours a week that’s 5 hours 5 days a week. My obgyn told me he did not want me returning back to work until after my 6 week post pardum checkup. He wrote me a doctors slip stating just that for me to give to my case worker. She is now giving me a hard time about it. She says I have to work until the baby is born but I can barely walk as is. Can she legally do that when my doctor does not want me working?

Asked on June 26, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A doctor's note doesn't actually have any legal effect in this regard; that is, the doctor does not have authority over the employer. And while an employer may not discriminate against a women due to pregnancy, she still has to be able to do her job: if she cannot or will not work, she could terminated from the employment, which in this case, could result in losing your assistance.

You might be eligible for federal or state medical leave, or for disability payments. You should discuss your situation with an attorney with experience in this area (e.g. an employment law attorney, or possibly a welfare law attorney). If you can't afford one, trying contacting Legal Services; they provide legal assistance to those who cannot afford their own lawyers.


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