Does my boss have the legal authority to keep me at work if I am vomiting?

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Does my boss have the legal authority to keep me at work if I am vomiting?

I threw up at work and my boss would not allow me to go home.

Asked on April 17, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes and no. That is, you are not a prisoner--you may leave if you like, and if you are willing to accept the consequences. You may not be held against your will.

Those consequences, however, could include discipline or even termination, unless you had sick leave to use, and used it in accordance with all rules or procedures at work; that is because employers are  not obligated under law to allow employees to miss work for illness except in very limited cases (e.g. if Family and Medical Leave Act leave is available and appropriate), and so can take action against employees who do miss or leave work, unless such employees miss or leave work in accordance with the employer's own policies and benefits (sick leave) on the subject.


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