Can my employer suspend me if I have a doctor’s note?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can my employer suspend me if I have a doctor’s note?

I had wisdom teeth and molars removed on Thursday. I asked for Thursday and Friday off and was still having major symptoms on Monday. I called in by email. I spoke with the doctor’s office on phone and the doctor sent note by email. However, went in this morning, I got suspended for attendance, 3 days no pay. I’m worried that things could turn ugly. If I’m terminated over this, do I have a leg to stand on?

Asked on August 15, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

An employer need not accept a docor's note; there is no legal requirement that they do so. Therefore, if you were out unexcused, then you can be disciplined for attendance. This means you can face suspension and/or termination. That is unless such an action would violate the terms of a union agreement or employment contract. The fact is that an employee can be terminated, etc. for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). So unless your absence was covered under PTO (i.e. sick or vacation time), you have no claim here.

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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