I am being denied my sick time
Hi my name is AnnaLee, I just recently went to the doctors with my boyfriend/fence. Now I’m being told that I can not use my sick time going to the doctor with him, I brought a doctors note in and I told my employer 2 weeks in advance that we had to go to the doctors office on that day.
Before I started working for this company I told them that my boyfriend was diagnosed with a brain mass and that I would need to go to his appointments.
I guess my question is, is can they deny me my sick time even though I brought a doctors note in?
I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Not all states require employers to grant sick leave, so depending on where you work, you may be subject to the company’s arbitrary policy.
Further, since you’re not married, your boyfriend wouldn’t necessarily qualify as a family member for medical leave purposes— but again, that may vary by state. In your case, a doctor’s note is probably irrelevant because the appointment was not for you. It’s for a non-family member instead.
Does your company provide a PTO policy or flexible work policy that allows you to take this kind of time off—unpaid? Also, is your concern related to your need for time off (flexibility) or for that time off to be paid? From what you’ve described, this example (you accompanying a non-family member to a doctors appointment) doesn’t fit under a traditional “sick leave” policy unless your company policy considers domestic partners to be “family”. Even if you live in a state that requires paid sick leave time for family members it may not be considered sick leave for you as you two aren’t yet married.) Some states like California do consider domestic partners family for paid sick leave purposes, but most states don’t. And even California has requirements for who is considered a domestic partner.
However, if you had a conversation with your hiring manager during the recruiting process allowing you flexibility to take this time off, you may want to go to HR or your hiring manager to re-address this issue: both your need for the time off and how they would like you to record it for payroll purposes. Perhaps there’s been a misunderstanding that you could have the time off (but not be paid for it under their sick leave policy).
It sounds like accepting the job was conditional upon them allowing you to take time off to accompany your fiance to his medical appointments. You may want to have them clarify that in writing if it’s outside their normal sick leave policy.
Best of luck to you!
Laura, HR Staff Writer