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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Required to Work Although Sick and in Pain - Is a "No Call Out Policy" Illegal

    My question involves employment and labor law for the state of:New Jersey

    During work hours I was getting unbearable pain in the abdomen. Because there is no call out policy, I went to the restroom to ask other employees to come in for me so i can leave.

    No one else could come in. My manager noticed I was in the restroom for 10 minutes and asked what was going on. I told him of my pain and he told me to get myself together and go back to work. I repeated that i could not and he sarcastically suggested "you want me to call the ambulence" I agreed having the ems come.

    They checked me out, and along with the cops there i secretly told them this was the only way i could get out of work because i was in terrible pain but not allowed to leave. They told him i could not work, said they were sending me to the hospital. I walked out with them and ended up driving myself to the hospital.

    Is there anything i can do to proceed to sue my company? Previous employees were fired because they called out sick, there is "no call out policy" . I have been working there over a year and am forced to come in sick if i can not find coverage.

    Also, we (the employees) work 8 or more hrs a day and only get one unpaid thirty minute break. Can I use this to build a case against them with labor laws, or anything? Or if they fire me the next day i work, can i sue?

    -Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Required to Work Although Sick in Pain "No Call Out Policy" Illegal

    Let's put it this way. Anyone with a filing fee can sue. I can sue you because I don't like your shoes. Doesn't mean I'll win.

    And it would be the same thing here.

    1.) Since you suffered no permanent damage and did, indeed leave work and go to the hospital, you would lose a lawsuit.
    2.) Under both Federal law and NJ state law, if you are getting one 30 minute unpaid break (regardless of the length of your shift) that's 30 minutes more than the law requires. Neither Federal nor state law in NJ (or many other states) requires that you get ANY breaks (again, regardless of the length of your shift). So you would lose a lawsuit since no laws are being violated.
    3.) This is the only one that might have any teeth and it's a long shot at best. IF you, the employer, and the medical condition all qualify for FMLA, then if you were fire FOR THE ABSENCE you would *probably* have grounds to take legal action (though it would be preferable to file a complaint with the DOL then to file a lawsuit). And even then I can think of reasons why you would not have a valid claim - it would depend on circumstances.

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