Jump to content
February 2019 Caption Contest: Win $100! Read more... ×
WriteQuest WriteQuest (New Member) New Member

Terminated for Calling Out Sick?

Safety   (2,150 Views 7 Comments)
169 Visitors; 1 Post
If you find this topic helpful leave a comment.
advertisement

Little back story. I'm a new nurse and work on a med-surg floor. I've been at my job for five months and has missed six shifts in the past two weeks due to illness. I went to work yesterday, having been fever free for the required 24 hours, but woke up early this morning with a temp of 101.2 again, plus some GI issues.

I called out, because I can't justify going in sick and risking getting my patients sick (many are immunocompromised already).

My director called me (I missed the call due to being in the restroom). She didn't leave a message, but then sent me a text to call her.

How much do I need to disclose regarding my illness? I feel awful about calling out so much - I had near perfwvt attendance in the four years I worked at my last office. I don't want to lose this job, but I think they can fire me for poor attendance even if I have doctor notes. Advice? Should I stop feeling guilty?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't feel guilty -- it is inappropriate to report for pt care with vomiting/diarrhea. You risk the safety of your pts, you risk exposing your colleagues, and you deny YOURSELF the care YOU need (i.e. rest and fluids as tolerated.)

You don't have to say "diarrhea" to your manager -- but I would say that you have had a series of contagious viral-type illnesses, and that you consider working a pt safety issue.

You can also ask about applying for FMLA (or intermittent) -- maybe suggest that you should be evaluated by your provider since this is unusual for you. If your facility has >50 employees and you have been with them for at least a year, FMLA will give you that job protection.

Now get to bed, maybe with some ginger ale or tea, and feel better!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I missed the part about it being a new job. Still it is a pt safety issue, and that this is unusual for you is the truth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Find out what your employer's attendance policies are. That is something everyone should be sure to find out as they start a new job. In some places, they calculate attendances by "occurrences" -- meaning that if you are sick one day and then go to work the next day because you are feeling better, but then call out the day after that because you relapse, that counts as "2 occurrences" where if you had simply called out all 3 days, it would have been "1 occurrence." Some employers have policies that you are only allowed a certain number of "occurrences" per year, or per quarter, or per some other specified time period.

So ... find out what your employer's policies are so that you can make good decisions that will work best for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't be surprised if she gets inquisitive about your illness. When absences become noticeable enough for a 'talking to', supervisors tend to want to discuss the situation on more than a superficial level. That is another reason to avoid absences. Nobody (should) like to talk about their personal circumstances to a supervisor at work. The less they know about your personal life, the better. And don't forget, you are a new employee on probationary status, it would not take "too many" absences for the employer to make the decision to cut ties with you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might not qualify for FMLA, not working your new job for a year, but check your states laws.

I WOULD however make sure you get a Drs note asap to substantiate your illness and get checked out because being sick that long with fevers and diarrhea sounds suspicious for something?

Edited by Smilingnurse1011
just plain old bad grammar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
advertisement

Didn't you have a doctor's note? The policy at my facility says you need a doctors note to clear you if you're out for 2 days and if you miss more than that you have to ask for a leave of absence which requires documentation. A note for 2 days isn't required. If you have a documented illness and you're employer terminates you, it could be a wrongful termination case. Someone mentioned FMLA not taking into effect for a year, but there may be ways around that. I think if you were really sick with a note, you're employer would probably grant you a personal leave of absence. I've never worked at a place that wouldn't, but I've always had very understanding managers. Regarding discussing the circumstances, you can present your doctors note to employee health who does not disclose this to your manager.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×