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  1. #1
    Brandon219 is offline Junior Member
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    Exclamation Can you be fired if you miss time and have a doctor's note?

    What is the name of your state? Mississippi

    First alittle background. I am currently working in a state/county job in Mississippi. My department is the Sanitation Department and I am basically a garbage man. I work 4 days a week Monday - Thursday from 7:00am-5:30 pm (10 hour shifts). I have an immediate supervisor who overseas the Sanitation Dept. There are about 18 total employees in my department, but with more than 100 county employees in the whole county in many other departments. In Mississippi, we have 5 appointed supervisors that run the county I am in. They make our rules and sign our checks. I have been working for the county for 5 years now. I also have a documented medical condition that sometimes keeps me at home once or twice a month, but I have always had a doctor's note. Well anyways, today there was a department meeting that the supervisors have come up with a new "rule". If an employee misses any time (or days) and they don't have any sick leave or vacation leave saved up, they will get a warning put in their file if they miss the day or time. You are aloud to have 2 warnings and on the 3rd warning you are fired REGUARDLESS if you have a doctor's note. Today I recieved my first warning because I missed last Monday to go the doctor. I had a note, but my boss said it didn't matter because I had not time saved up and I ended up only working 30 hours last week since I had no time saved up to complete a 40 hour work week. I'm supposed to have hurnia surgery on friday (the only day I have off) and I would have to miss MOnday and Tuesday to heal, but now I am being told that if I miss those 2 days its ANOTHER warning (unless I have enough time saved up to miss which I don't). And as I said on the 3rd warning I am fired.

    I don't know what to do because I really need this surgery, but I can't afford to be off to heal. Can I be legally fired even if I a doctor's note?? The county supervisors have only been in office for 1 year now and they have been firing people left and right in the last year and they themselves have given THEMSELVES 3 raises ALL in one year and no one says a word about it. Me and several of my other co-workers feel that if we are fired then the supervisors can hire new people at a lower starting rate. I now make about $10.00 per hour and a new person can make only $7.00.

    I'm sorry this post went REALLY long, but I wanted all the details in.

    Thanks for you time and any advice would be wonderful!

    Brandon
  2. #2
    absconder Guest
    Yes they can fire you. Do you have civil service there and are you covered? Are you represented by a union? If either apply try talking to them.
  3. #3
    panzertanker is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon219
    What is the name of your state? Mississippi

    First alittle background. I am currently working in a state/county job in Mississippi. My department is the Sanitation Department and I am basically a garbage man. I work 4 days a week Monday - Thursday from 7:00am-5:30 pm (10 hour shifts). I have an immediate supervisor who overseas the Sanitation Dept. There are about 18 total employees in my department, but with more than 100 county employees in the whole county in many other departments. In Mississippi, we have 5 appointed supervisors that run the county I am in. They make our rules and sign our checks. I have been working for the county for 5 years now. I also have a documented medical condition that sometimes keeps me at home once or twice a month, but I have always had a doctor's note. Well anyways, today there was a department meeting that the supervisors have come up with a new "rule". If an employee misses any time (or days) and they don't have any sick leave or vacation leave saved up, they will get a warning put in their file if they miss the day or time. You are aloud to have 2 warnings and on the 3rd warning you are fired REGUARDLESS if you have a doctor's note. Today I recieved my first warning because I missed last Monday to go the doctor. I had a note, but my boss said it didn't matter because I had not time saved up and I ended up only working 30 hours last week since I had no time saved up to complete a 40 hour work week. I'm supposed to have hurnia surgery on friday (the only day I have off) and I would have to miss MOnday and Tuesday to heal, but now I am being told that if I miss those 2 days its ANOTHER warning (unless I have enough time saved up to miss which I don't). And as I said on the 3rd warning I am fired.

    I don't know what to do because I really need this surgery, but I can't afford to be off to heal. Can I be legally fired even if I a doctor's note?? The county supervisors have only been in office for 1 year now and they have been firing people left and right in the last year and they themselves have given THEMSELVES 3 raises ALL in one year and no one says a word about it. Me and several of my other co-workers feel that if we are fired then the supervisors can hire new people at a lower starting rate. I now make about $10.00 per hour and a new person can make only $7.00.

    I'm sorry this post went REALLY long, but I wanted all the details in.

    Thanks for you time and any advice would be wonderful!

    Brandon
    As far as i know, if the company has a policy there is nothing you can do about it. They are not obligated to accept the note in lieu of fulfilling their policy. Most companies have the exact opposite policy: if you DO NOT have a note from the Dr. then you get written up. I find it strange that they went the other way.
    Have you looked into using FMLA?
    I have noticed that even intelligent people ask assinine questions every now and again.
    Disclaimer: I know a few lawyers. None of them is named panzertanker.
  4. #4
    Beth3 is offline Senior Member
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    Brandon, you need to do two things:

    1) Tell your supervisor that you need to apply for medical leave under the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act.) There must also be a personnel/human resources department for the county - contact them as well and tell them you also wish to apply for FMLA for your upcoming surgery.

    2) Do some research on the internet on the FMLA. The particulars are too lengthy to detail here but you very likely qualify for statutory leave for your surgery and possibly for intermittent leave for whatever health problem you have that keeps you off work once or twice a month.

    No employer has to excuse any absences just because an employee has a doctor's note but they DO have to excuse any absences that qualify for FMLA leave for up to 12 weeks per year.
    A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
  5. #5
    absconder Guest
    YO Beth read his post!! Hes missing days every month and DOESNT have sick leave to cover it. FMLA doesnt cover that darlin.
  6. #6
    Beth3 is offline Senior Member
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    Yes, it does.

    If the company offers some sort of paid sick leave benefit, good for them. However an employee qualifies for FMLA completely independently of any paid sick leave an employer offers. If he meets the criteria for FMLA (worked for the employer at least 12 months; worked at least 1,250 hours during that time) then he qualifies for statutory leave if he needs leave or absence time for a situation that is covered under the FMLA.

    If his on-going medical condition meets the criteria of a "serious health problem" under the FMLA (29 CFR 825.114) then it's quite likely all these monthly absences should have been covered under the FMLA and he should never have been disciplined.

    Since the poster appears to be completely unaware of the FMLA, it makes me wonder whether the employer has provided the required notice of FMLA rights to employees and has a bulletin board with the required poster in his workplace. Or perhaps they have and Brandon is simply oblivious.
    A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
  7. #7
    absconder Guest
    Beth made me read the WHOLE FMLA and shes right! rrrrrrrrggggggg I hate it when Im wrong and a females right.
  8. #8
    pattytx is offline Senior Member
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    I hate it when Im wrong and a females right.
    Get used to it, buddy.
  9. #9
    Beth3 is offline Senior Member
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    Good one, Patty.

    absconder, there will be a quiz later to ensure that you really did read Act in it's entirety.
    A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
  10. #10
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    I hate it when Im wrong and a females right.

    Then I suggest you slowly back away from the Employment Law forums because there are three very experienced females answering questions here who clearly know employment law better than you do.
    Last edited by cbg; 04-12-2005 at 08:23 AM.
  11. #11
    panzertanker is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by panzertanker
    As far as i know, if the company has a policy there is nothing you can do about it. They are not obligated to accept the note in lieu of fulfilling their policy. Most companies have the exact opposite policy: if you DO NOT have a note from the Dr. then you get written up. I find it strange that they went the other way.
    Have you looked into using FMLA?
    Yo, absconder... I answered it first if it makes you feel any better. But I know that the "3 ladies of Employment Law" are a WHOLE lot better versed to handle these questions than me. I just got lucky!
    I have noticed that even intelligent people ask assinine questions every now and again.
    Disclaimer: I know a few lawyers. None of them is named panzertanker.
  12. #12
    purple2 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by absconder
    I hate it when Im wrong and a females right.
    Time to re-evalute your prejudice.
  13. #13
    panzertanker is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by purple2
    Time to re-evalute your prejudice.
    Or maybe time for you to recognize a JOKE made in jest!
    smiley face, aaarrrgggg
    Very much appears as a joke purple2.
    Wouldn't you think???
    I have noticed that even intelligent people ask assinine questions every now and again.
    Disclaimer: I know a few lawyers. None of them is named panzertanker.

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