Questions about being reprimanded for absences due to family illness.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Questions about being reprimanded for absences due to family illness.

In the last 12 months I’ve exceeded the amount of absences provided by my
company. During that time my father was diagnosed with cancer, I’ve had updates
my parents live almost 1000 miles away and he passed away at the end of
January. I had FMLA for a few weeks when I went to help out with everything. I
also took my 3 days of bereavement. Before I was on FMLA, I had quite a few
absences due to emotional reasons. Said company has given me a warning, and now
they’re ‘escalating’ it to a write up to which I refused to sign. This is all
taxing on me, do I have any repercussions?

Asked on June 13, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Nevada


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, if you are exceeding the number of absences for which you have paid time off to cover (e.g. sick or vacation or personal days) and/or which are otherwise allowed by your employer, you may be reprimanded, or even fired by, your employer for excessive absenteeism. Regardless of how good your reasons, you have to go to work, and employers do not need to maintain employees who fail to do so. If you can still take FMLA leave, your employer and you are both covered by it, and these circumstances allow FMLA leave (see the U.S. Department of Labor website for information on FMLA), then you can't be disciplined for properly using FMLA leave--but that's the only exception to the company's right to discipline, up to and including terminating, an employee for more absences than the company or his/her PTO allows him/her to take. The fact that you refuse to sign the warning or write-up, or that this is "taxing" on you, is irrelevant--you, as the employee, do not get to decide when or how much you may be absent.

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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