Is it legal for a company to tell employees that we have to find our own replacement when we call in sick?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it legal for a company to tell employees that we have to find our own replacement when we call in sick?

Yesterday my non-union employee had all the employees sign a paper stating that when we call off sick we need to find our own replacement first. The last thing I want to do is call people when I am sick. When I asked for a copy like I always do when I sign something, I was told that I cannot have a copy had to wait until it was available online then I could print it myself.

Asked on March 18, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

As unfair as it sounds, yes this is probably legal. That is unless doing so violates company policy or the term of an employment contract or union agreement. Also, this action must not constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination. The fact is that most employment is "at will". This means that a company can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. And this includes an employee having to find a substitute to fill in for them in the case of illness.

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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