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Threat of termination due to call offs for child and self sickness

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  • Threat of termination due to call offs for child and self sickness

    My girlfriend works in the hotel industry as a housekeeper. Recently, her daughter came down with a fever and so she had to take two days off to care for her child, to see a doctor and get a doctor's note. I offered to take her daughter to the doctors but since she is the parent. She was the right person for the job. Certainly, she also has better knowledge of her daughters history than I. I am not the father. Anyway, after that my girlfriend got sick a week later with a bad sinusitus. So she also called off. 1. because she didn't know what it was and did not want to make her co-workers ill, and 2, because she was feeling pretty awful.

    Her departments manager was furious over the most recent call off. As that forced her manager to come in and work on a saturday. Because she was sick, my girlfriend called off for one day. She Obtained a doctors note that stated she should not work for 3 days. Two of those days she happened to already have off of the schedule.

    Her first day back her manager took her to the HR office and had her sign a document reprimanding her for calling off. BTW in all instances she gave 8 hours notice if not more. She didn't read the document. I let her know that was a bad idea. I want her to get a copy so that I can read it.

    Perhaps I am wrong, But if the FMLA can be applied intermitantly then they could be applied to both of these situations and her employer has no leg to stand on. I pressume "serious illness" can mean a high fever as in her daughter's case or a serious infection as in my girlfriends sinusitus.

    Does or did my girlfriend have a leg to stand on?
    Last edited by pjanak; 10-27-2009, 08:04 PM.

  • #2
    It is unlikely that the illness you describe would rise to the level of FMLA "serious illness" if she only saw the Dr that one time and was only out for 3 days.

    In most cases, signing a reprimand does not mean agreement with the reprimand, only that it has been received.

    Outside of FMLA, a Doctor's note doesnt provide any legal protection for an employee. The employer is not obligated to accept it or do anything differently because it was received.
    I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
    Thomas Jefferson

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    • #3
      Wow, so they could fire you for being sick one too many times because thier bottom line is affected. I sorta of understand that. But I am nevertheless disgusted.

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      • #4
        The law does not require unlimited sick time.
        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.

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        • #5
          I understand that. It's probably left up to the employer to determine what constitutes too many. But I find that unreasonable. So I was looking to see what other possibilities might exist. I mean her attendance has been stellar since the start of her employment. At most all that was called for was a verbal counseling. Instead she recieved a written reprimand wich counts as 1 strike out of 3. But I guess tht's a matter for discussion between her and her employer.

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          • #6
            It's up to the individual employer to set the attendance policy unless there is a binding employment contract re absences/attendance.
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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