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  • A question from Oregon

    Hello!

    I have a question for whoever might know, regarding essentially being forced to work while ILL. I have a co-worker who is sick today. She is actually pretty bad, as she has thrown up 6 times already. The hitch is that our employer has written her up and placed her on a final warning for being late/sick in the past. She cannot be sick or late for a full 12 months (this is effective as of the middle of August). Well, she came into work today afraid to call in sick and getting fired. She does have paid sick time available, she is just not allowed to take it. Anyway, it seems that they are refusing to budge and will not allow her to go home sick. They won't even schedule her out for the day because she didn't give 24 hour notice. They did offer to schedule her off Wednesday (the next day that she is scheduled to work) in case she is still sick then. How nice of them!

    Is there anything she can do here, or is she required to stay at work sick and continue throwing up the rest of the day?

    PS - she works in a call center, if it matters.
    Last edited by hehateme; 10-01-2007, 10:38 AM. Reason: corrected title

  • #2
    Originally posted by hehateme View Post
    Hello!

    I have a question for whoever might know, regarding essentially being forced to work while ILL. I have a co-worker who is sick today. She is actually pretty bad, as she has thrown up 6 times already. The hitch is that our employer has written her up and placed her on a final warning for being late/sick in the past. She cannot be sick or late for a full 12 months (this is effective as of the middle of August). Well, she came into work today afraid to call in sick and getting fired. She does have paid sick time available, she is just not allowed to take it. Anyway, it seems that they are refusing to budge and will not allow her to go home sick. They won't even schedule her out for the day because she didn't give 24 hour notice. They did offer to schedule her off Wednesday (the next day that she is scheduled to work) in case she is still sick then. How nice of them!

    Is there anything she can do here, or is she required to stay at work sick and continue throwing up the rest of the day?

    PS - she works in a call center, if it matters.
    Nope. Not unless this illness would be covered by FMLA, and she is eligible for FMLA.
    Please no private messages about your situation.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by hehateme View Post
      Hello!

      I have a question for whoever might know, regarding essentially being forced to work while ILL. I have a co-worker who is sick today. She is actually pretty bad, as she has thrown up 6 times already. The hitch is that our employer has written her up and placed her on a final warning for being late/sick in the past. She cannot be sick or late for a full 12 months (this is effective as of the middle of August). Well, she came into work today afraid to call in sick and getting fired. She does have paid sick time available, she is just not allowed to take it. Anyway, it seems that they are refusing to budge and will not allow her to go home sick. They won't even schedule her out for the day because she didn't give 24 hour notice. They did offer to schedule her off Wednesday (the next day that she is scheduled to work) in case she is still sick then. How nice of them!

      Is there anything she can do here, or is she required to stay at work sick and continue throwing up the rest of the day?

      PS - she works in a call center, if it matters.
      If she is sick, the employer should send her away without pay. Beats infecting others in the work place.

      They are not obligated to protect her job unless ADA or FMLA applies.

      In this case, there is an employee who has demonstrated a pattern (in the opinion of the company) of abusing sick time.

      They can fire her, if they wish. Heck, they could do that even if she did not call in sick.

      There is nothing illegal here.
      Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by moburkes View Post
        Nope. Not unless this illness would be covered by FMLA, and she is eligible for FMLA.
        Well thats too bad, you would think they would have some sort of law against that. Guess things like that only work in favor of big business.

        Thanks for your quick response!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ScottB View Post
          In this case, there is an employee who has demonstrated a pattern (in the opinion of the company) of abusing sick time.
          Well, in her defense, she certainly hasnt abused any sick time. This company has a very strict policy about attendence. If you are late 10 minutes or miss the whole day it counts as one occurance. There is no partial or half occurance for just being late. In her case it came down to a bad 2 weeks where she was late due to traffic twice in a 2 month period (she lives 30 miles from where she works). She had also missed 2 days of work 4 months earlier due to sickness, but due to the 6month rolling calendar policy, they got her.
          Last edited by hehateme; 10-01-2007, 12:19 PM.

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          • #6
            I am not saying that this is case here, but not all illness that are causing vomitting are contagious. Some years ago my employer had their X-mas party on a Sunday. My payroll clerk sat at the same table as the outside sales people (who were off on Monday) and matched drinks with them. We had to get a payroll out the next morning (Monday) so she came in, but other then throwing up every few minutes, she did not get much work done. We eventually sent her home in a cab, but this was stricly self-inflicted and having to (literally) clean up her messes and cover her workload when we would have been pressed for time if she was healthy did not make anyone very sympathetic.

            If the employee is legimiately sick with a non self-induced illness, then of course the employee should stay home. However this is not a legal requirement, just common sense. It is generally legal for employers to be a******. Some are.
            Last edited by DAW; 10-01-2007, 11:39 AM.
            "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
            Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

            Comment


            • #7
              But whether the tardies and absences were her fault or not, she WAS absent and tardy that many times. Nothing in the law says they have to forgive a tardy because of traffic, and only absences for illnesses protected by FMLA have to be forgiven.

              If the company wants to consider that a pattern of behavior, there is nothing in the law that is going to protect her. I've worked as much as 60 miles from home in the past, but I left home in time to allow for traffic. If she didn't, that's not the employer's fault.
              The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by cbg View Post
                If the company wants to consider that a pattern of behavior, there is nothing in the law that is going to protect her. I've worked as much as 60 miles from home in the past, but I left home in time to allow for traffic. If she didn't, that's not the employer's fault.
                I understand... It's very sad that companies have lost all sympathy or understanding in the fact that life happens. I remember the "old days" where the boss and/or the company cared for their employees and didn't punish them for getting sick. I guess thats what happens when a company becomes successful and grows.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by hehateme View Post
                  I understand... It's very sad that companies have lost all sympathy or understanding in the fact that life happens. I remember the "old days" where the boss and/or the company cared for their employees and didn't punish them for getting sick. I guess thats what happens when a company becomes successful and grows.
                  We have clients that fall into the category of being heartless SOBs and will term someone fast, even though the employee was demonstrably ill and should not have been at work.

                  We have also seen far too many cases of employees abusing sick leave.

                  It cuts both ways.
                  Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

                  Comment

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