If my doctor gives me a note saying that I am not to work, can my employer make me work anyway?

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If my doctor gives me a note saying that I am not to work, can my employer make me work anyway?

Asked on April 20, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes and no...the employer cannot "make you work" in the sense of legally forcing you to work; however, the employer does not have to pay you if you are not working. Moreover, if you do not either use paid leave (e.g. sick time or vacation days), if any, to cover the time you are not working, or alternately, using some protected benefit (such as leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, if you and your company both qualify under that Act) for the nonworking time, you can be suspended, demoted, and/or fired for not working. That is, there is no right to not work and have a job, or not work and be paid, except to the extent you are using some benefit (like PTO) you have accrued or are usinig FMLA or something similar to it while complying with all the requirements thereof.


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