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Legal to write you up for using more sick days??
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Legal to write you up for using more sick days??

I have 5 sick days a year to use at my job. I have gone over that amount....I have children. they get sick. I do too. He has given me a written warning for "attendance" I dont;' feel this is legal. Wouldn't the correct thing to do is coach and counseling and just not pay me for the days I used that went over?


Michael B
It depends on the rules of the company you work for. When you took the job you agreed to play by their rules. Check with HR or the company rule book.

It's legal to write you up for missing more than the allotted days. In fact, it's legal to fire you if you continue to use more than the time given.

It's not the employer's problem that you have children who get ill. I'm a mom, raised four kids and worked full time, so I do understand. When my kids were small you couldn't take sick time to care for them when they were sick -- at least that has changed. It was tough. I found back up people to help me for those days and sometimes I used vacation time.

However, if you've been at your job for more than a year, you could qualify for FMLA, which is job protection while you care for a family member. The bad news is that is can't be for just a cold, but for a serious medical condition. It involves doctor reports, etc.

Unless you are under a Union or an employment contract which addresses sick days, it is legal for your employer to write you up for going over the designated sick day allotment. Not only is it legal to write you up, it is also legal to terminate you for attendance problems and to prevent you from getting unemployment benefits due to the termination for absenteeism. By getting a warning you are on legal notice that the next time you take off you can be legally terminated.

Employers are not legally required to coach, or counsel someone. Under the law (all states and Federal) an employer has a legal right to require that employees show up at work a certain number of days. The illness of employee's children is not the legal responsibility of the employer.

As for FMLA, you can ask for it and you can get your doctor involved in filling out the paperwork for any chronic / serious condition. The FMLA requirements include: "2) care of an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent) who has a serious health condition;". So if your child has a "serious health condition" which your doctor can attest to, you may be able to qualify.

Expert Realtor
Yes, they can do that. When you took the job you knew the number of sick days, and employers have a right to hold you to those sick days.

Not every company is 'family friendly'.

No, the correct thing for a supervisor to do is to warn an employee who violates the company attendance policy that they are on thin ice. It is not a generous policy; however, this is what you signed up for when you agreed to work there.

If you or your family members become seriously ill, you do have the right to take family medical leave to care for this - it requires you to obtain a doctor's certification that your care is required. Family leave can be taken all at once or intermittently, for up to 12 weeks of unpaid time per year.

It is not illegal to give an employee a written warning for attendance issues.

Think of it like this: You pay Jane to show up from 3:00-6:00 M-F to watch your kids. She shows up Monday but not Tuesday or Wed. She shows up on Thursday and then has to leave early on Friday. This puts added pressure on you and effects what you do and how you do it because you've got to handle things if she's not there.

I'm with your boss on this one. Unless I'm running a fever or vomiting, I go to work. And even then, I usually show up for an hour or two. If I'm not there, it effects those around me and their ability to do their jobs. If I am not there often enough, I would lose my job.

I've been a single parent for 8 of my daughter's 12 years and I know it's tough. But think of how much harder it'd be without that job.

Reader's Digest Version of my answer: No, it's not illegal to give someone a written warning based on unacceptable behavior.

Order In Chaos
Get the sickness and/or occurrences approved under
F M L A.

Then you have legal recourse if anything happens.

I would have written you up to. When you take excess time off work, it costs employers time and money and most of the time it effects other employees. Employers NEED employees that will actually show up for work.

Stacy's Mom
Do you have an employee handbook? It will spell out the guidelines for sick leave and what happens when you exhaust your sick leave.

When you took the job you agreed to follow their attendance policies.
If you don't have any sick days left see if you can use your vacation days rather than having them continue to write you up.
Try not to be so quick to take days off unless it is REALLY necessary. I know it is difficult with children, but try.

Weimaraner Mom
Yes it's legal for them to write you up and put it in your personnel file, either ask to take them unpaid or ask to use your vacation time to cover you. I had a receptionist that took all her sick time and most of her vacation to the point where she was not getting paid for sick time. Eventually we had to let her go because it became such a problem for me and the company having to hire a temp constantly or I had to cover the front desk all day I couldn't do my job. Sorry but they are well within their rights to do this.

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