Id Ihad to leave work early for a family emergency, can my empployer ask for proof?

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Id Ihad to leave work early for a family emergency, can my empployer ask for proof?

I got a phone call at work telling me that my spouse was in a car accident and was being taken to the hospital. I asked my manager if I could leave and they said yes. Now, they are asking for written proof of either the accident via police report or proof from the hospital. Since I was not involved in the accident nor treated at the hospital, can they ask for this information?

Asked on December 14, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your employer may ask for proof of the emergency. First, be aware that unless your employer is large enough (at least 50 employees) to be covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or its state equivalent in your state--and you would also have to qualify under it, which typically means having worked there at least a year--there is no requirement to let you take time off or leave work for a family emergency. That is, unless FMLA applies, your employer could probably have terminated you for leaving, even for a family emergency, if it wanted to.

Second, whether the employer voluntarily chooses to let you leave for the family emergency or under FMLA, if it applies, they are entitled to ask for proof or confirmation of the emergency; they do not have to take you at your word. If you do not provide it, you may be terminated.


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