sick leave

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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sick leave

I have been out on sick leave from June
07,2016 to current I was diagnosed with
bacterial meningitis and have been recovering
from that and other health issues that have
arises. I have Doctor notes to cover my time off
for recovery but my department manager insist
if I’m fine I can return to work sooner it’s very
fustrating because I’m trying to be in the best of
health before I return to work mind you I work
in a hospital. How should I handle a situation
like this? She does this to all of her employees
and they always feel obligated to return to work
before getting better.

Asked on July 3, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Hawaii


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you do not have and are using enough PTO to cover your absence, and are not on FMLA leave (i.e. both you and your employer meet the criteria to be covered by FMLA, and you have properly requested it), then you could be terminated or otherwise disciplined for excessive absence, even if the absence is due to a medical condition: even when there is a medical condition, employers do not need to retain employees who miss work without using PTO or FMLA leave. Therefore, if you are not using one (or both, in combination) of those things for your absence, you may have to give in to your supervisor's pressure: if you stay out longer thant your employer feels appropriate when you don't have/aren't using PTO or FMLA, your employer could take action against you.
If you are using PTO or FMLA (and they have not yet run out), however, they can't take action against you for using them--PTO is something you earned by working, and can't be taken away (except pursuant to any written employment agreements or firm written policies which limit its use) and use of FMLA is protected by law. If you suffer any negative consequences for using your PTO or FMLA leave, you could contact the state department of labor about filing a complaint and/or speak with an employment law attorney about possibly suing.

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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