Post # 1
Question for all you legal bees!
I need to take about a week off to get surgery sometime soon. Is it legal for my boss to tell me when I can and can’t take time off for it- especially when he says it needs to coincide with his vacation schedule?
I am concerned that if I take the time off when works for my family (there is a two week window before we are both in school and working) they will fire me.
I explained my situation to my boss and he told me I could either a) get the surgery done on a Friday and come back in on a monday, they just won’t make me work hard, or b) wait til October when his family takes a vacation- which puts my husband in grad school finals, and me in midterms. The recovery time is a week at the least.
Also: It is not a cosmetic procedure. I’ve been dealing with chronic infections and it has been becoming a progressively more frequent issue- I’m tired of being sick!
Post # 3
Don’t quote me, but I don’t think your boss can do this. If it is a medical issue, I believe they have to grant you time off or you can take short term disability/ FMLA. I would check with your HR
Post # 4
That’s the thing, we don’t have HR. It’s a bunch of dentists, and us. That’s it. I’m one of two receptionists, and we’re not even a very busy office. We don’t get sick days. If your fever is less than 103 degrees, you are expected to come to work for four hours. At that point, if you are still “sick”, the “doctor” (dentist) will look you over and tell you if you are sick enough to go home. If you just don’t come in, you will get written up.
Thanks for the help!
Post # 5
Yeowch – sounds like you need to find a better job. No offense! That’s just no way to live/work at all. I would still think that they can’t fire you if your doctor advises no work for such and such amount of time. I wish I could be more of a help though. Good luck!
Post # 6
@JeffsWifey: I think FMLA is only required when there’s 50+ employees in the company. Any number until then it’s just optional. Not sure if this is still correct but was a few years ago when there was a question of legality for a friend.
Even then with FMLA, you have to work X amount of hours for X amount of days… like 1,000 within one calendar year, I think? I don’t remember exactly but it’s something along those lines.
Definitely check your local department of labor — easy to find in the blue pages of the yellowook or your state’s direct website (or a search within in).
Good luck. Either way, your boss sounds like a total jerk.
Post # 7
the best thing for you to do would be contact your department of labor as FrozenFeet said, also people should not be coming to work sick you could make patients sick. If you do this (time off for surgery) and they want to fire you then you could have a claim for a wrongful termination. Dont let this job cause you health problems, your health always needs to come first. good luck and let us know what happens
Post # 8
@Sassygrn: I agree go through family medical leave all you do is hand them all the paper work and you don’t need to explain anything to your boss other than hand him the form.
Option #2 get a medical note that indicates that you cannot return to work from this date to this date
Post # 9
Some states have lower threshholds for FMLA eligibility. It is true the federal one needs to be 50+employees, etc. It appears this will not be on your side but not worth giving up looking into.
Unfortunately, it sounds like you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, legally speaking. You’d want to look into other options (doing it anyway and risk losing your job, if an option). Quitting. Dealing with bosses’ restrictions, if medically capable. I’m sorry you’re being put through this and it is a very poor example of supervision.
Post # 10
Thanks ladies! I’m definitely going to check into that. I’ve got the appointment to try and schedule surgery today so depending on what I find, I’m just going to schedule it, tell him when I’ll be gone, and let him deal with it. I’ve already made arrangements to make sure things run smoothly on my end when I’m gone.
Post # 11
I would have the surgery and go back to work bleeding all over the place and scare his clients away.
Post # 12
The laws vary by state, but FrozenFeet is right that under the federal law, FMLA only applies to businesses with 50+ employees.
It sucks, but unfortunately the laws have been on the employers’ side in the last few decades as organized labor’s power has drastically diminished. You can indeed be fired for taking sick days in many states.
Post # 13
I’m not a legal expert, but my understanding is that if it’s an elective procedure (meaning non-emergency, and can be scheduled at your convenience) then your workplace can request that you do it at a certain time. It’s similar to taking a vacation.