Is it legal for an employer to require an employee to work/on call wihile the employee is out of work under a doctor’s care?

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Is it legal for an employer to require an employee to work/on call wihile the employee is out of work under a doctor’s care?

Asked on July 26, 2011 North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unless one (or more) of the following applies--

1) You are using some legally protected leave, such as federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave;

2) You are using paid time off you have earned or accrued;

3) You have an agreement from the employee allowing you to take time off for medical care (either as part of a general contract or union agreement, or an agreement relating to this specific situation)

4) The medical condition amounts to a "disability," and some time off would be considered a "reasonable accomodation"--and note that not every medical issue is a disability, and also not everything requested by a disabled employee is a reasonable accomodation

--employers do *not* need to let you take time off from work for medical reason.  That is, except when when of the above applies, an employer can expect and employee to be available for work, even if the employee is sick, injured, under a doctor's care, etc., and can fire that employee is he or she does not show up.

Therefore, the answer depends on your specific circumstances. You should consult with an employment attorney to evaluate them in detail and determine your rights.


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