can they refuse to let me work?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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can they refuse to let me work?

I got sick on 08-28 my doctor note said return on 08-29, depending on how patient feels. I looked physically sick and my manager asked what was wrong with me, I told her and she told me to let her know if I needed to go home. I asked to go home an hour into my shift. Later that day my General Manger asked me,

Asked on September 3, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, West Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

An employer does not need to risk disruption of the workplace by having someone it fears is infectious--or worse, risk liability if it's a food service place, like yours is, and in handling or being near food, you got a customer sick and they sued the store (or at least gave it bad publicity, costing it business). Given that you work in fast food, your employer can reasonably insist that you be entirely cured (since when someone is or is no "infectious" is often not as clear as you might think) before letting you back to work. Remember: employment in this  country is "employment at will"--you work at the discretion of your employer, and there is no inherent right to work.

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