Is it legal to receive a 3-day lay off when you have missed work due to beingsick?

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Is it legal to receive a 3-day lay off when you have missed work due to beingsick?

I have been sick for the past week and returned to work, still, with a fever of 101 degrees and severe respiratory problems. I work with elderly and felt I should not have been there. I went to the Director of Nursing who proceeded to tell me I was getting a 3-day lay off. I was just wondering my rights regarding this issue?

Asked on February 23, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The law does not guaranty employees the right to take time off for illness; employers may, for example, terminate employees for not going to work, even if it is due to illness. It is up to employers to decide on their sick policy (including for example, whether they give employees sick days). Therefore, an employer may elect to penalize or take employment action against employees who miss work without using paid time off and/or employer approval.

Moreover, if you do not have an employment contract, you are an employee at will. An employee at will may be terminated--and so could also be suspended, furloughed, laid off temporarily, etc.--at any time, for any reason, by the employer...including for missing work due to illness.

For both reasons above, therefore, it appears that your employer would give you a three-day lay off for missing work due to being sick.


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