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Is it legal for my department to threaten to write me up for taking a sick day?
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Is it legal for my department to threaten to write me up for taking a sick day?

Massachusetts: I work in data mgmt. The policy here (spoken, I've never seen it in writing) is that 3 unplanned days out within 3 months is considered excessive. They threaten to write up a person who has "excessive" sick days (3+ in 3 months). Is that legal to be able to tell me when i can use my sick days? I think i might have tonsilitis right now, but i have to come into work to avoid being written up......


I know it's legal for a employer to fire you for no reason at all.... thats all I know, but if they can go that far with out a reason, I'm sure it's "legal" to write you up.

It is legal. You are hired to be at work. With such a tight sick leave policy it is up to the employee not to waste sick days -- save them for when you are really and truly ill, in need of a doctor's attention.

Go to work, get more sick and take a whole week off as per doctors orders, bet they will love you then

You need to ask more questions here. I work for a large company and Attendance is the most important thing that needs to be and stay good. BUT, we also have FMLA and Short Term Disability. I know with Short Term Disability you can not file a claim unless you're out at least 4 working days. It's possible that your company has this and you weren't out long enough so those 3 absent days counted against your attendance and put you over their objective goal.
Where I work the objective for attendance is to be under 2%, so to be there 98% of the time. (This equates to a little more than 5 sick days per year, but if you are a new employee it goes up quickly because you haven't worked enough time.)
Also check to see if your company has a Union contract so you can see their policy in writing.

yes, and no. the company can write you up for taking too many sick days; however, for your own serious illness you are entitled by law to use family medical leave (FMLA.) this is unpaid time that can be taken on a continuous or intermittent basis, for up to 12 weeks in any 12-month period. it requires a certification from your doctor.

if that is their rules written or otherwise they can write you up, if they have told these are the rules then they are the rules weather you see them or not. if you have sick days this should not be an issue but some companies do watch given sick days for signs of abuse. By the way a day a month does sound excessive

jenel c
It all depends on how your contract is written. Or if you don't have a contract the company has rules. Investigate those rules to help you know your wrights better. Go to H R Human Resources at your work and ask. That's what their job is.Good luck.I hope your tonsillitis gets better.

well that shouldnt be the case if you are sick and you can produce a letter from the doctor or the hospital to prove your absence

If you knew the policy and still agreed to be employed there then yes it is legal. If you didn't know the policy then I would say they should only give a verbal warning and then the next time write you up.

Join a union and have a word with your doctor too. You can't help being ill and it seems very unfair to write you up for just 3 days. What if you get the flu? Thats a full week off. Your doctor would have something to say about that because doctors say that if you are ill you shouldn't go back to work too soon because you will make yourself more ill.

Francesca Thomas
Dont you get a minimum of 5 paid sick days per year?

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