Can Employer Deny Sick Day?


John became ill, but before calling his boss to request a sick day, he spends a few minutes going over what he will say to him. He was overly worried that his request would be turned down. Most employees, like John, are in a similar situation; they are probably afraid that their employer will say no and force them to work sick. Can an employer deny a sick day? What laws govern sick leave, and who qualifies? In this article, we’ll answer the questions raised above.

Can Employer Deny Sick Day?

Can employer deny sick day? 

Yes, of course! If an employee does not have a sound reason for requesting a sick day, his request may not be granted. However, if an employee requests sick leave for a reason that is captured by the leave law act, the employer cannot turn down the request, even if advance notice wasn’t given. 

What Laws Govern Sick Leave? 

There are only two federal laws that govern sick leave: 

1. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) 

Below are the conditions under the act,

  • Serious medical condition
  • caring for a family member with a serious health condition 
  • childbirth 
  • Adoption of children 
  • Any reason arising from a member of your family serving in the military. 

2. The Paid Sick Leave Emergency Act (EPSLA) 

The following are the criteria under the EPSLA act 

  • Quarantine 
  • symptoms related to COVID-19 or similar symptoms to COVID-19 
  • Caring for a minor in quarantine or whose school is closed due to a pandemic.

 All companies with at least 50 employees are required to provide 12 weeks of unpaid sick leave to all employees within 12 months under the act. It is a temporary act that made provision for ten (10) days of paid sick leave to all employees who test positive for the Coronavirus, irrespective of company size. 

Both of these acts highlight acceptable reasons for sick leave. The permitted uses of sick leave vary by state, but generally include: 

• Illness, injury, or health condition, either physical or mental 

• Preventative/routine care Coping with the aftermath of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking Only employees may be granted sick leave in some cases. However, many states permit employees to take sick leave to care for the needs of a family member. 

Who is allowed for sick leave?

 In states where it’s permitted, most employees are qualified for sick leave benefits. These include: 

  • Part-time workers 
  • Seasonal worker
  • Temporary workers

 Should sick leave be paid? 

Because there is no requirement for an employer to provide sick leave on a federal level, there is also no requirement that any sick leave that the employer provides be paid. note that federal contractors are exempted. For individual states, however, the requirements may differ. Depending on the number of employees, each state’s regulations may require sick leave and also include provisions for paid leave. 

When can one return to work?

 One can return to work when he is feeling better. Companies may request that an employee must provide documentation from his doctor proving that he is fit to work. Some companies, such as jobs that do not allow for work from home or jobs in the service industry, may try to force you back before you are ready because they require people on-site to keep the business running. Do not return to work out of guilt or because of the feeling of obligation. It is your responsibility to keep yourself and the people around you safe.

When your sick leave expires?  

If one has a long-term illness, it may be necessary to apply to the government for Employment and Support Allowance to cover one’s expenses when sick pay runs out. An employer can legally fire an employee while on sick leave, but they must follow the proper procedure and demonstrate that the dismissal is just and fair. This means that before dismissing an employee, they will have to consider other options, such as adjusting job roles to accommodate that staff or changing work hours. 


An employer can deny an employee a sick day if the reason given is not covered under applicable law. However, if an employee requests sick leave for a reason that is covered by the applicable leave law, the employer cannot deny the request. 

  •  Am I Entitled To Any Pay If I Am Absent Due To Illness? 

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), which is the bare minimum required by law, and company sick pay, also known as contractual sick pay, is any additional sick pay provided by your employer and specified in your employment contract. 

  • What Happens to an Employee who Abuses Sick Leave?

 Sick leave abuse can result in loss of productivity and profits for the company, so it is important to prevent it. If sick leave abuse persists, the employee may face disciplinary action

Can Employer Deny Sick Day?

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