What are my rights if my boss wouldn’t let me go home when I had a fever but policy stated that I could not stay?

UPDATED: May 4, 2012

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What are my rights if my boss wouldn’t let me go home when I had a fever but policy stated that I could not stay?

I passed out later in the work day. Do I have a case?

Asked on May 4, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You do not have a case. The law does not require employers to let employees leave early due to illness. Furthermore, you could have left (presumably), in the sense that the employer would not prevent you from walking out the door; however, you chose to stay rather than risk your job (since you could have been fired if you left without permission). Since you made the voluntary choice to stay, valuing your job over the risk or discomfort of your illness, you cannot hold your employer accountable for it; the employer is not liable for your choice. Finally, unless you suffered some serious injury or significant medical costs, there'd be no point in suing anyway, even if your employer were liable: the law only provides compensation for actual costs or injuries. If you were fundementally unharmed, there is nothing to sue for.


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