If I recently put in my 2 weeks notice but within those 2 weeks I became sick and the doctor took me off work for 4 days, what to do if this cost me my bonus?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I recently put in my 2 weeks notice but within those 2 weeks I became sick and the doctor took me off work for 4 days, what to do if this cost me my bonus?

My notice was placed on the 17th and the final date was the 24th. My doctor gave me an excuse due to illness on the 20th to return on the 24th. I was paid for a bonus I earned but they reversed the payment. My employer then states that I abandoned my job and refuses to pay my bonus which I earned over 5 weeks ago, plus my 2 sick days that I accrued this year.

Asked on April 25, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First, you need to be aware that your doctor does not have the authority to excuse you from work--you employer is in no way bound by your doctor's opinion, since your doctor is not an executive of the company, and the law does not require employers to allow employees time off from work for illness, except and only to the extent that the Family and Medical Leave Act or a similar state law applies. So if you simply did not show up at work due to a doctor's "excuse" you were absent without approval or authority; that sort of unapproved absenteeism would be grounds to not only terminate, but potentially terminate for cause, and employee.

If you used sick days which you had earned for your absence, that would be different; your employer should not be able to penalize you for using a benefit which is part of your compensation. But if you did not have enough sick days to cover the full absence, or chose to not use sick days for this absence, yours was an approved absence from work.

As to the bonus: if there was a bonus agreement (whether stand alone or as part of a larger employment agreement) which guarnateed you a bonus if you met certain quantitative (e.g. financial or other "hard," measurable goals) by a certain date and you met those goals, you should have been paid the bonus. On the other hand, if there was no bonus agreement, or the bonus had a discretionary element to it, then the employer could use its discretion in this circumstance to deny you the  bonus.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption