Can he tell me that despite doing work, my work day from home is now being considered a sick day?

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Can he tell me that despite doing work, my work day from home is now being considered a sick day?

My employer allowed me to work from home last week for 1 day while I was sick. He wasn’t able to reach me in the morning but we did speak in the afternoon. I told him what I worked on, who I spoke to over the phone, and I CC’d him on emails. He wasn’t happy with not being able to reach me initially and didn’t think that I had enough work on my plate to warrant a work from home day, despite the fact that I actually did work. Can he tell me that despite performing my work duties, which I can prove, that my work day is now a sick day?

Asked on March 7, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Legaly, if you were allowed to work at home, and/or if you did in fact work from home, it is not a sick day. First, if they approved you to do this, you worked pursuant to an oral agreement to allow you to work at home; since you did your part (worked) they are contractually obligated to do their part (pay you as a regular work day and not require a sick day). When one party keeps its side of an agreement, the other side must, too. Second, the definition of a sick (or vacation) day is "time not worked" (https://www.labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/faq.shtm#9); therefore, if you work, it is not a sick day.
The above said, if your employer disagrees, even correctly, you'd have to take legal action against them--will legal action against your employer be worthwhile for one day?


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