Is there anything I can do legally if I got sick at work but was not allowed to leave?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is there anything I can do legally if I got sick at work but was not allowed to leave?

I operated a machine. The week prior I had fallen out because my blood sugar dropped really low. EMT’s were called and everything. The day I left my job, I was feeling really funny and fainted. I told my superior and trainer because they said that I could not work on that machine like that. However, he wouldn’t allow me to leave so I walked out and almost fainted on my way home. Is there anything that I can do legally?

Asked on July 18, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't do anything legally unless your superior literally locked you in, handcuffed you to your machine or desk, or threatened you with violence if you left. Otherwise, you could have walked out...yes, there might have been job consequences, but you chose to prioritize you job ahead of your health. There was nothing but your choice to comply keeping you at work (and remember: employment in the U.S. is "employment at will": you have no right to or guaranty of a job, and your employer does not have to prioritize your health or well being). Having chosen to stay, you cannot bring any leal action. Next time, know that if you feel your health is in jeopardy, you can simply leave.

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