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Can your employer call you back after you called off sick and demand you come in??

Posted

My D.O.N requires you to call the facility and call her when you call off for any reason no matter what the time. I have worked there 1 1/2 yrs and called of once for snow because I have an hour drive. She tried to pick me up..she never made it, roads were too bad. (hello) This past week she has yelled, screamed and bullied our nurse and cna that called off telling them they really needed to come to work. In their defense they do not call off frequently!! Ok she is the D.O.N on call..shouldn't she come in?

linearthinker, DNP, RN

Specializes in FNP. Has 25 years experience.

I don't really get your post, but I'll answer the question posed in the title... no, she cannot.

mappers

Specializes in Med/Surg/Tele/Onc.

Can they? Of course they can! Your post proves it. Do you have to come in? No. And if you are within the absentee policy guidelines, they can't fire you for it.

I've been on the other side of the fence. I've been a manager when people have called out. I've had other employees say "That's ridiculous! What are YOU going to do about it!!" Ummmm..I can't drive to their house and make them come to work. They have the PTO, they called within guidelines. They might be lying, but there really isn't anything I can do about it. Of course, the people asking what I'm going to do about it are the same ones who will call in the next week.

I won't manage people who are hourly again.

If they followed the policy, than no. Even if they didn't, she has no right to bully anyone. If they aren't abusing sick time, she needs to let them be.

I like my new job with the PTO policy. You get a week and you can just call off. No excuse needed. If you go beyond that 5 days, then they can do something if needed.

flyingchange

Specializes in MPH Student Fall/14, Emergency, Research. Has 2+ years experience.

I think I understand where the OP might be coming from. When I worked in home health there was a "mandatory 2 staff" policy (often broken). 2 staff needed to be on during certain hours. If the team lead couldn't find coverage for a callout she was responsible to come in. She was very, very, determined not to let that happen.

RubyRN,CHPN

Has 15 years experience.

As a nurse, I find it horribly irresponsible to ask sick people to come to work. Just bad practice.

Yeah, they can, and I've done it. Usually when employees would call me I'd ask what was wrong, and it was out of concern. If it's what I called a B.S. problem and knew I'd be short-handed otherwise I'd say "I'm gonna need you to go ahead and come on in. If things are going smoothly I'll let you go home early if you need to go." Usually once they got there they'd stay.

Sure they can ask you to come in anyway, you can stand up for yourself and tell them "as I told you in the first phone call, I am out sick today."

If you really want to make a point, you could go on to say how irresponsible it is to ask someone who is ill to come in and take care of others who are ill with compromised immune systems. ;)

CoffeeRTC, BSN, RN

Has 25 years experience.

What you are asking is "Is it right for her to do that? or Is it legal?"

Sure they can do it.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

Another option I have had to enforce is a policy that says basically: "If you are sick enough to call out on a holiday, then you should be sick enough to see a doctor. If you don't have a physician's note saying that you were seen (or an NP, PA, etc.), it will count as an unexcused absence and there will be some sort of punishment." It was not the standard policy for every day, but was the policy for holiday shifts.

When faced with that option, I've had people choose to come into work on the holiday instead of going to an urgent care center. They seemed fine by the way the acted while at work.

MzMouse

Specializes in LTC, office. Has 19 years experience.

Honestly I can see it if there is a nurse who calls out frequently for every little thing. But for myself I would be upset. I call out about once every two years, when I call in sick I am SICK.

I have a comment about the "snow day" call -off, I think that is so wrong that your DON tried to come and get you!!!!! What if she did make it and then there was an accident, then what? sounds like a good way to Sue the pants off her and the company. Any other thoughts on the snow day and I will pick you up crap?? I could see if it was maybe a few miles and your drive was blocked or something, but to bring someone in an hour away ? weird!

As others have said, they can but provided you followed the hospital's guidelines for calling off it doesn't mean you have to go or face being fired for it.

I've had supervisors tell me that I can't call off and I just tell them again that I am calling off. We don't have unexcused and excused absences so my reasons for calling off are irrelevant and I don't share them even if I'm asked unless I am wanting to be paid bereavement or sick pay (which doesn't kick in until the third shift missed). Yes, it sucks to work short but it doesn't matter if they have already had multiple call offs or don't have anyone to cover, if I've called off then I'm not coming in.

I'd much rather someone call off than show up and then leave! If someone calls off we might get help from a floor with a lower census or be able to get someone to come in or stay over, if someone shows up and then leaves, we are stuck. Unfortunately, poorly written policies contribute to this behavior since people aren't penalized for going home (even if they leave 10 minutes after the shift begins) but face disciplinary action if they call off less than 2 hours to the start of their shift.

Can your employer call you back after you called off sick and demand you come in??

Yes, she can. But whether you will come in or not depends on you. Also, how you would handle the situation would depend on you too.

Once I have called off for being sick, I would make certain not to answer the phone again while I am trying to recuperate. If necessary, turn off the phone. If you get badgered about it when you return to work, say that you were sick and asleep.

Another option I have had to enforce is a policy that says basically: "If you are sick enough to call out on a holiday, then you should be sick enough to see a doctor. If you don't have a physician's note saying that you were seen (or an NP, PA, etc.), it will count as an unexcused absence and there will be some sort of punishment." It was not the standard policy for every day, but was the policy for holiday shifts.

When faced with that option, I've had people choose to come into work on the holiday instead of going to an urgent care center. They seemed fine by the way the acted while at work.

So if you have the stomach flu, vomiting, diarrhea you know is going to pass you have to drag yourself to urgent care to be told you have the stomach flu. Is the hospital going to pay the co-pay or bill for going for something like that????

As someone who is rarely sick I'd hate to work for a facility that has a different sick policy on a holiday and one that makes you go to urgent care when sick on a holiday. It's like guilty until proven innocent. Or like thinking all patients who have pain are faking because of a few drug seekers.

We need to treat our staff with respect, this isn't respectful.

jkaee

Specializes in Gerontological Nursing, Acute Rehab. Has 15 years experience.

You do not legally have to give any reason to your employer as to why you are calling in. And they can't demand that you tell them. If you choose to tell them, that's one thing. But they can't ask. (Unless you are using FMLA, then you do have to tell them that.)

Employers will do whatever you let them get away with. Just don't pick up the phone. What you permit, you promote. Cliche, I know, but very true.