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unexcused absences

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  • unexcused absences

    I work for an employer that does not excuse any sick days, even with a doctor's note. If you are absent for 3 days and bring a doctor's note for all three days, they will reduce your days off to one "incident" instead of three. This is causing people I work with to come to work sick, coughing and sneezing and getting others sick (myself included). After 3 "incidents" (sick days) you get a written warning. 3 written warnings is grounds for dimissal. Is this a legal practice? Now, when people are sick, illnesses are spreading through the entire call center.

  • #2
    I understand that this policy would result in people coming in sick and possibly contagious and it's not necessarily a wise policy in my opinion. But, if you are asking whether the policy is legal, yes it is. The only time absences cannot be held against an employee is if they are FMLA-qualified absences, which general illnesses like colds, etc. aren't.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      This is silly, and wrong. This is a quote from the center for disease control's website regarding strep throat. I chose strep throat as an example because it spread thru the call center like wild fire a month ago. "If the test result shows strep throat, the person should stay home from work, school, or day care until 24 hours after taking an antibiotic." So, diseases like strep throat, chicken pox (shingles in adults), that are highly contagious and CDC recommended to stay home are not covered by any labor laws? We do not have the right to be protected?

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      • #4
        The answer is not wrong legally. Whether you think it is "wrong" for the employer to have such a policy is your perogative; it is their right to have such policies, the "shoulds" of the CDC not withstanding.
        Last edited by Pattymd; 01-18-2008, 08:02 AM.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          I did not say that your answer was wrong. I was just saying that the fact that workers are not protected is wrong. It seems common sense that if the CDC recommends staying home, that people should stay home. Some 'general illnesses' can be dangerous (chickenpox can cause shingles). Sorry for expressing an opinion. Thanks.

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          • #6
            So under your employer's policy, someone who has more than nine occurances of absenteeism (presumably within a year) would be discharged. That's not unreasonable, particularly since consecutive days of absence for the same reason are considered one occurance. If someone is really ill with a cold or the flu, they have the ability to stay home and get well provided they haven't abused their attendance record. More serious illnesses (such as the chicken pox) would very likely fall under the FMLA and leave would have to be extended.

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            • #7
              No, each missed day is an "incident", each incident after the first two is a written warning. They only combine consecutive days if a note is brought in. So, if you miss two days for, say the flu, its two incidents unless you see a physician. so, you can be dismissed on the 6th incident of the year.
              Last edited by dboytt; 01-18-2008, 02:45 PM. Reason: typo

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              • #8
                Still legal.
                I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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                • #9
                  The reason I'm asking about this is because after 8 mos of work and not one missed day, I missed 3 days of work because of a sore throat that made it hard for me to talk. On the 4th day, I went into work signed my written warning and tried to work on the phones. After struggling to make myself heard for an hour, my supervisor told me to go home. The next day I come into another written warning. Then, I'm told that I can only miss one day during the next year before I'll be dismissed. The incidents drop out of the system after a year, so in order for me to get back to 0 incidents I have to have perfect attendance for a year. Seems a bit extreme though I understand that some would take advantage of a lax policy.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
                    Still legal.
                    I never doubted anyone's answer was correct. What's wrong with having a discussion?

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                    • #11
                      dboytt I really do see where you are coming from. Unfortunately in the States the set up of sick leave is the complete prerogative of the employer. But there is one exception.
                      Get a union and negotiate a CBA with language on sick leave and its usage. But unfortunately in our current labor climate, the employer will get away with murder in its efforts to stop your organizing efforts.

                      Sorry I dont think I helped much. Its just that it really upsets me when I see workers treated like mules and abused in such ways. Good luck buddy!

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