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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    4

    Default Can an Employer Make You Use Unpaid Leave for Doctor Visits

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

    In February of this year I was diagnosed with a terminal illness that will likely destroy my internal organs, starting with my kidneys, within a few years. To help combat this disease, I take drug therapy every 2 weeks that requires me to miss a half day of work. I recently learned that while I am being docked for these doctor visits, my co-workers (there are five) with regular doctors' appointments are not. Isn't this discrimination?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Discrimination for Doctor Visits

    do your co-workers have regular appointments every other week that cause them to miss 1/2 day?

    do any of you have any sort of PTO/vacation/whatever? If so is it possible they have not used all of their time but you have?

    are all of you salaried or hourly? are you co-workers on the same level of employee as yourself?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1,991

    Default Re: Discrimination for Doctor Visits

    additional PTO is not required by FMLA or the ADA.
    Never break more than one law at a time.

    "Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods." -- H. L. Mencken

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,521

    Default Re: Discrimination for Doctor Visits

    There are a number of reasons why this may be so; many of those reasons legal. The most likely one is that your visits are protected by FMLA, which is defined by statute as unpaid, and theirs are not.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Discrimination for Doctor Visits

    We are all hourly employees. I still have a week's vacation left, so far they have not asked me to use it. I can't say if we get paid time off/personal days as I'd never missed any work (in 8 years) until I went into the hospital in January. My co-workers don't have regular 2-week appointments like I do, but one of them has had a heart attack (at age 35) and misses much more work than I do, both with doctor visits and going home early because he's "sick". Not sure what you mean by "same level of employee" so I'll just tell you I am the only one in the shop that knows how to do what I do and I am well compensated for it. Hope this helps. Thanks for all the responses.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Discrimination for Doctor Visits

    same level of employee

    examples of various levels:

    owner
    administrative personnel
    general worker

    would they be considered the same level of employee as you?

    are the others using vacation time so they are paid?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Discrimination for Doctor Visits

    Ok, gotcha. Yes we would all be considered the same level of employee and no, they are not using their vacation time.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,307

    Default Re: Discrimination for Doctor Visits

    How do you know that your co-workers are getting the time off with pay?

    In any case, yes, you can be required to take the time without pay for doctor visits.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Discrimination for Doctor Visits

    Quote Quoting StillKickin
    View Post
    Ok, gotcha. Yes we would all be considered the same level of employee and no, they are not using their vacation time.
    Ok, so you are saying these other employees are simply being paid for time NOT worked out of the goodwill of the employers heart?

    I think you are missing something in your situation.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,521

    Default Re: Discrimination for Doctor Visits

    To the OP -

    First, I doubt you are privy to all the details of everyone else's arrangements with the employer as to their time off, paid or unpaid.

    Second, there are numerous laws that have to be complied with when it comes to time off for medical reasons, and not every law applies in all situations. Everyone's situation is different; therefore everyone's pay arrangements may be different. Not only is it not illegal to have different pay arrangements for different employees, depending on the situation it might be illegal not to.

    Finally, the bottom line is that how or whether other people get paid for their time off is none of your freakin' business. You have posted nothing to suggest that your employer is doing anything illegal; it is legal for YOUR time to be unpaid and that's the only issue that you need to be aware of. Unless you have valid and supportable evidence (and I mean evidence that would hold up in a court of law) not only that you and only you are not being paid for this time but ALSO that you and only you are not being paid SPECIFICALLY for a reason prohibited by law, then just get your nose out of everyone else's paycheck before you end up on the wrong side of a permanent vacation. And yes, that would be legal.

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