What are my rights if I had a doctors note to be out of work for 2 weeks but my employer made me work anyway?

UPDATED: May 14, 2011

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What are my rights if I had a doctors note to be out of work for 2 weeks but my employer made me work anyway?

Asked on May 14, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, unless you have an employment/union contract or such action violates company policy or is in some way discriminatory, you basically have no rights here.  The fact is that most employment relationships are "at-will" which means that an employer can dictate the conditions of employment.  In turn, an employee can refuse to work under those conditions. However, an employer would then have the right to terminate the employee.

Ideally, taking sick time or other PTO would be a solution here. However, since you didn't mention it I assume that either you have used up all such time or it is not a benefit that your employer offers.

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