Can part-time help get fired with a doctor’s excuse?

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Can part-time help get fired with a doctor’s excuse?

My niece is a student and has a part-time job. She just left urgent care and

has been diagnosed with the flu. Her employer told her if she did not show

up for her shift she was fired. Didn’t care if she has a doctor’s note. Said he

has been way more sick and still got to work. Isn’t there some kind of ethics

law or something that doesn’t allow people diagnosed with the flu to stay

away from people and their food?

Asked on March 2, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that a doctor's note is not legally binding on an employer. Further, generally speaking, a company is free to terminate an at-will employee who misses too much work since attendance is a job requirement. That having been said, absences are protected if any of these apply: you had and used available PTO; the FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act); the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act); workers' compensation laws; state paid sick leave laws. Otherwise, absent protection under the terms of an employment or union/collective bargaining agreement, your niece's company employer was free to set the conditions of employment much as it saw fit.

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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