Doctors note and employment

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Doctors note and employment

I had oral surgery and was given a doctor’s note for 3 days off from work. My employer said they do not accept doctor’s notes and then proceeded to put it against my attendance. This forcing me to attempt working while I’m supposed to be recovering from the surgery. Basically telling me I work or I will lose my job for attendance. Is this legal? And can they terminate my employment?

Asked on April 2, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A doctor's note is not legally binding on an employer. In other words, it need not be honored by it. Further, a company is free to terminate an at-will worker who misses too much work since attendance is a basic job requirement. That having been said, such absences are protected if: you use available PTO (i.e. sick or vacation time); the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act); the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act); or workers' compensation laws. Otherwise, unless you have some protection under the terms of a union agreement or employment contract, your employer is free to set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit.


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