Can I be suspended or terminated after missing 1 day of work due to emergency admittance to a mental health facility?

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Can I be suspended or terminated after missing 1 day of work due to emergency admittance to a mental health facility?

I had an unplanned mental health emergency and sought help at a local crisis center. As a result I was placed on a mandatory 72 hour psychiatric hold and was unable to contact my employer until my release. I missed one scheduled shift as a result and although multiple co-workers attempted to reach me, other than HR I have not contacted by my direct manager or owners. I made contact as soon as I was able and was not given direction on how to proceed or when my next shift was. After reaching out again to my manager I was told I would be contacted by one of the owners. She emailed me and told me that I was not to return to work until the HR manager returns from vacation and then I would be contacted about my employment determination. They have not specified if this is a paid or unpaid suspension, if it is due to a pending investigation and have yet to request any documentation to validate my medical emergency. I have never received and formal or informal disciplinary action for attendance or any other infraction. How to respond to this and what are my rights? If I am terminated what are the grounds?

Asked on August 28, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unless your treatment violates the terms of an employment contract or union agrement, you have no recourse here. As an "at will" worker, you can be suspended (even terminated) for an unexcuded absence, no matter what the reason. In fact, you can be disciplined for any reason or no reason at all (absent some form of legally actionabled discrimination.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unless your treatment violates the terms of an employment contract or union agrement, you have no recourse here. As an "at will" worker, you can be suspended (even terminated) for an unexcuded absence, no matter what the reason. In fact, you can be disciplined for any reason or no reason at all (absent some form of legally actionabled discrimination.


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