Can an employer fire you for calling sick to work even if you bring a doctors note when you return?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Tacoma, WA

I I worked for a company for a little over a month. They fired me because I got sick during the 6 week training period. They have a policy about not having more than 3 "UAP"s (unauthorized absences, which also consists of being late or leaving early). I called in as required to let them know I was sick. I returned to work (before I was even well just so I wouldn’t lose my job.) with a doctors note. I was given a written warning. I struggled to make it through the week, and had to call in sick again. I went back to the doctor and got another note. This time the note only covered 2 out of the 3 days I was absent. When I returned to work I was informed I violated their policy and was given the option to quit or be fired. I refused to quit. They tried to strong arm me into quitting. I refused. Then I was told that it was a "process" and that it would take 2-3 days for "legal to approve" my dismissal. I was then instructed to go log on to the phones and that "full performance was expected" from me until they got the okay t o fire me. I told the manager that I was still sick and the only reason I showed up then was at the request of the HR manager. I was then told to hand over my badge and escorted from the property. I understand that Washington state is an" at will" state. But can they do that when someone is legitimately sick and brings a note? Thanks

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Robert Daniel Kelly


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You might have a cause of action under the FMLA ( or Washington law (see You should see an attorney about the particular facts of your circumstances.

    [In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does... more

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