Is it legal for an employer to deny you having days off for medical reasons?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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Is it legal for an employer to deny you having days off for medical reasons?

I recently asked for a day off to take my soon to be 1 year old to her doctors. I was told because it’s an unpaid day which I had to take because I have no vacation time left that my manger has the right to deny any unpaid day off. However, she will approve vacation days, which is a lie because I put in for a vacation day and that got denied. I also had a doctor ‘s note one time to be out for 3 days because I sprained my ankle and almost lost my baby at 5 months pregnant. They said they didn’t have to accept the note because I didn’t hurt myself while on the clock. I really need some advice I don’t know where yo turn at this point.

Asked on August 24, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Employers do not need to let employees take time off for medical reasons, whether their own or another family member's, unless the employee has and properly uses some paid time off e.g. sick days to cover the absence or the employee is eligible for and properly puts in and uses leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act FMLA you can find the rules for this leave, including who is eligible, on the U.S. Department of Labor website. Apart from the above, it is the employer's right to deny time off for medical reasons and require the employee to instead schedule a doctor's appointment for a weekend, or before or after work hours. 

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 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.

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