Can my employer threaten me after giving them a note from my doctor?

UPDATED: Aug 28, 2012

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Can my employer threaten me after giving them a note from my doctor?

I gave the scheduler at work a note from my doctor restricting my work hours after which he said the following to me in front of a co-worker. “I will have to see if we have a position for you here. I need to talk to the manager”. Was it ethical for him to communicate that to me in front of another co-worker? Is it legal for them to let me go because of the new restrictions that my doctor has placed on me for work hours? How long does my employer have to comply with my doctor’s note? If they don’t comply with the note, what should I do?

Asked on August 28, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You have work restrictions but you have not mentioned if this is from workers compensation, short term disability or somthing else.  If it is merely a doctor's note, it may not qualify under much of anything.  Under the Family Medical Leave Act (if you and your employer qualify), you would or could take up to three months off of work without pay. Check with your state labor department regarding your particular rights.  In terms of whether it is appropriate, it may not be but violative of your rights, probably not.

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