Admitting to keeping employee on the clock while sick to get back at them.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Admitting to keeping employee on the clock while sick to get back at them.

My fianc was sick the other day and asked her fellow manager if should could leave early if it were slow at the restaurant. The manager said ‘Remember when I call you because I was sick and need someone to cover and you didn’t? If I can I’ll let you go home.’ My fianc could not cover because we had appointments for wedding planning. My fianc did not get to go home. The next day the manager admitted to a manager in training that she did not let my fianc go home just to get my fianc back for not being able to cover for her when she was sick. Is that legal?

Asked on July 8, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unless your fiance tried to use a sick day or other paid time off (PTO) day that she had earned and was refused, this is legal: if you are not using an earned PTO day, the employer does not need to let you leave early, even if it is slow or you are sick. Furthermore, the employer can do this because she is angry at the employee for not covering when the manager was sick: the law does not prevent "retaliation" for this reason, and a manager can make work decisions based on personal feelings.

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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