Is it fair for an employee to give a written warning for absences and leaving early when it was due to medical needs and note was provided?

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Is it fair for an employee to give a written warning for absences and leaving early when it was due to medical needs and note was provided?

Today I got a written warning in regards to my absences and leaving early. I suffered medical issues which left me in the hospital and having multiple visits with doctors I’ve provided notes for everything but yet nothing was excused and now I receive a written warning. What can I do? Is it legal and right for them to this?

Asked on September 27, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you used PTO (i.e. sick time or vacation) to cover your absences, then you should not have had a problem with your employer. However, if your time out was unexcused, then your employer was within its rights to write you up. While seemingly unfair, it was perfectly permissable. The fact is that doctors' notes are not legally binding on a company. Therefore, unless you have protection under the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, you have no claim. A company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit(absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). 


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