Is it legal if my daughter was fired for an absence that she had a medical excuse for?

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Is it legal if my daughter was fired for an absence that she had a medical excuse for?

It was the first time she called in and was for only one shift.Her employer has a 60-day trial period in which you can be dismissed for calling in, but she did have a dr’s excuse. Her supervisor told her it didn’t matter she was still fired. Also, she called in on Thursday. They let her work on Saturday and then fired her on Monday. She should not have been allowed to work on Saturday if they were serious about this.

Asked on June 19, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A doctor's excuse has no legal effect; the doctor has no authority over the employer. Further, employers are not required to provide time off--paid  or unpaid--for illness or doctor's visits, unless the Family and Medical Leave Act or a closely similar state law applies, which it would not have, from what you write (your daughter had not worked there long enough; and her condition was not serious enough if she only out one shift). Therefore, an employer may legally fire someone for missing work for a doctor's visit, unless the employer gave the employer sick days to use or otherwise authorized or approved the absence. Furthermore, if your daughter did not have an employment contract, she was an employee at will, and could be fired at any time, for any reason--including the week after her absence, after having worked Saturday.


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