Can my employer decide not to cover my sick pay because they are saying they received a lack of communication?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can my employer decide not to cover my sick pay because they are saying they received a lack of communication?

I have recently has to be off work for five weeks due to serve personal stress and overcoming what I have gone through. From the first day a new I was going to be off I have communicated clearly with my line manager and she has communicated clearly with me. I got a doctor’s note to cover this time off I have needed and they have received this. I received confirmation from my line manager stating she had received my sick note and she was processing it and it covers and I will be paid for this time off. After continued communication, my return to work date was today, I had a return to work interview with another manager due to my line manager being away and she has stated I will not be covered for my doctors note on the basis of there policy and lack of communication. I have read the policy which I have complied with and my line manager has never raised any issues. Due to this back to work interview and the suggestion I will not be paid has now set my personal recovery back and caused me unnecessary stress. I need advice as I don’t understand how this can be said and how I can be treated this way when I have complied with the polices and communicated clearly with my line manager and I was led to believe there were no issues?

Asked on June 18, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Did you have 5 weeks of sick leave to use? The only real question is: how many sick days did you have? If you complied with sick leave policy, as you indicate, you are entitled to be paid for all sick days that had earned/accrued and used--however many that was. However, there is NO legal obligation to pay you if you are out, even with a doctor's note, beyond the number of sick days you had. (An employer may *choose* to pay you for more days than you had sick days, but that is their voluntary choice.) 
If you are not being paid for the sick days you had and used and believe you did comply with any policies, you can sue your employer for the (sick) pay to which you are entitled. Sick leave you earned is part of your compensation; they can no more refuse to pay you for your sick leave than they can take money out of your paycheck. But again, you can only get pay for the sick days you had and used; they had no obligation to pay you for missing work when you did not have an use sick leave for the absence.

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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