Suffer from clinical depression – given final notice by employer for taking vacation time

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Suffer from clinical depression – given final notice by employer for taking vacation time

My employer gave me a final notice for taking too much time off. Said I wasn’t
giving 2 weeks notice to take vacation days. I haven’t abused my paid time off
nor am I in the hole with time taken. I suffer from clinical depression and am
having a very difficult time now where I may take a day here or there when I
simply cannot get out of bed or function. Work-wise it has not affected my work
performance as I have not been late on deadlines or priorities. I am basically
on probation for 90 days now which just garners more anxiety.

I realize I need to let my employer know about my clinical depression, but want
to do it the right way so I need to know if I just get a note from my doctor or

Asked on January 30, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There is no right to simply miss work whenever you want: that is not a "reasonable accommodation" to a disability or condition such as depression, because it is not reasonable for an employer to not know when an employee is coming into work or not. When you have sick days, you can use them if your condition prevents you from coming into work, but otherwise, if you simply miss days from work with sufficient prior notice and approval from your employer, when you don't have or use sick days for the, you may be terminated. It does not matter if you don't think that it is affecting your performance or deadlines or priorities; the employer, not the employee needs to decide if you are fulfilling job requirements, and one reasonable requirement is attendence. You have to come into work even when you don't want to, except, as stated, when you have and use sick days for the absence.
An employer's only obligation is, as stated, to make a "reasonable" accommodation to your condition, but again, it is not reasonable for the employer to not be able to control an employee's scheduel or know when he or she is coming to work.

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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