If I was injured and have a doctor’s note stating that I need a day off, can my employer make me come to work anyway?

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If I was injured and have a doctor’s note stating that I need a day off, can my employer make me come to work anyway?

I was in an accident at work yesterday as a passenger in a dump truck. I was sent to the ER by my supervisor and the doctor wrote an order for pain medicine and for 1 day off work. I was called this morning and told I had to come to work hurt and make up the time from this morning. This is the most messed up place I have ever worked for. What are my rights?

Asked on September 17, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you have PTO e.g. sick or personal days you have earned, you should be able to use them to cover the day off, and the employer should not be able to penalize you for using an earned benefit. Or if you and your employer and your condition/situation are all covered by the Familty and Medical Leave Act FMLA, you could potentially use unpaid FMLA leave you can find the eligibility criteria, etc. for FMLA on the U.S. Dept. of Labor website. Otherwise, though, your employer can require you to come into work, if you aren't using PTO or FMLA leave, and the doctor's note has no authority over the employer the doctor is not an owner or executive of the employer, or a judge who can issue legally binding orders. If you do not come in when you don't have PTO or FMLA leave, your employer can terminate you.


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