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Company Forced To Pay Employee For 120 Overtime Hours After Manager Demands To See Doctor’s Note
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Company Forced To Pay Employee For 120 Overtime Hours After Manager Demands To See Doctor’s Note

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Dragging yourself to the doctor can seem like an impossible task when you’re ill. Calling to make an appointment, traveling to the clinic and making your way back home is extremely overwhelming when you’re feverish, congested, achy and just want to sleep. But the cruel reality for most of us is that, if we want to get paid for our sick days, we better provide a doctor’s note.

Sometimes, however, this policy can backfire on an employer. Below, you’ll find a story that one woman shared on the Malicious Compliance subreddit detailing how her manager’s demand for a sick note ended up getting her additional days off and payment for past hours she had worked.

Getting a doctor’s note for work when you’re ill can be an exhausting task

Image credits: Polina Tankilevitch / pexels (not the actual photo)

But it was worth it for this woman after her manager was forced to give her additional days off and more income than she expected

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Image credits: voronaman111 / envato (not the actual photo)

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Image credits: pimilpimil

“Always read your contract thoroughly before signing it, and know your rights”

To learn more about this situation, we reached out to the woman who shared this story online, Reddit user Pimilpimil. She was kind enough to have a chat with Bored Panda and shared that she was inspired to tell this story by other malicious compliance tales she had seen on TikTok. “I just have a lot of stories to share, so I did to try and see if anyone else can relate.”

We were also curious what her manager thought of all this. “[She] felt defeated after learning that I will be having extra days for rest, but she eventually agreed, as it can cause serious offense if not honored. As with me, reporting about my overtime, they had tried to speak to me to ask why I had reported them. I explained to them briefly, and since labor claims had called them, they were forced to pay my extra hours along with my colleagues.”

The OP also noted that this is the only company she’s worked for with these issues, and as far as she knows, they are still operating this way. And as for whether or not the manager learned her lesson, Pimilpimil says, “She admittedly knew the law, however she said she was just following the company protocols. She left the company a year later for a different reason.”

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Finally, she shared some advice for any employees in similar situations. “Always read your contract thoroughly before signing it, and know your rights. There should always be a work-life balance.”

Visiting a doctor’s office just for a note can be a huge hassle for workers who should be at home resting

Image credits: Tima Miroshnichenko / pexels (not the actual photo)

Unfortunately, many bosses don’t seem to trust their employees enough to simply take their word for it and accept that they are ill if they hear it over the phone. There has to be solid proof. According to the Gold Law Firm, employers in the United States are allowed to request that their workers provide a doctor’s note any time they take a sick day.

These notes should only provide basic information about the patient, the time of the appointment and how many days the doctor recommends they stay home from work. Your boss is not entitled to know your medical history or even know what exactly is wrong with you on that given day. 

As common as doctor’s notes are though, many workers and physicians argue that they’re not a necessary practice. Dr. Kay Dingwell, an emergency room physician in Canada, told CBC that patients really shouldn’t be spending the entire day in an urgent care clinic when they should be at home recovering. She also noted that the requirement to have sick notes is a labor issue, and it can be a waste of doctors’ time.

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Plus, visiting a doctor is an additional cost for many employees, especially if they don’t have insurance. It’s not fair for them to have to spend $50 and their entire day visiting a doctor just to prove why they couldn’t show up at their retail job one day. And in the UK, Davidson Morris notes that proof from a doctor is not required when employees miss seven or fewer consecutive days of work. They can “self-certify” that they were ill upon returning to the office.

As of July 2022, it’s also not required for residents of the UK to see a general practitioner to receive a sick note. These can also be provided by doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists and physiotherapists, which can make it a bit easier for patients to get their hands on proof for their employers.

Many bosses believe that their employees take advantage of sick day policies

Image credits: Karolina Kaboompics / pexels (not the actual photo)

But why do we need to have sick notes in the first place? Don’t our bosses trust us? Well, according to PWC’s 2024 Trust Survey, 86% of executives claim that they “highly trust” their workers. However, only 60% of employees actually feel like their bosses trust them. And when it comes to taking sick days, many employers seem to have no problem with their teams coming in ill.

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A recent survey from Resume Builder reports that one in five bosses have encouraged their workers to come to the office while they’re sick. And a quarter of managers believe that employees abuse sick day policies by exaggerating or lying about how ill they are. Because of this, one third of managers surveyed do require sick notes when their workers call out.

At the same time, some bosses believe that allowing employees to work from home is a fair alternative to giving them an actual sick day. They might ask employees how sick they actually are or if they would be willing to work from home, rather than accepting the fact that they need a day off. Resume Builder also found that 27% of managers believe encouraging sick employees to work is actually beneficial for the company’s productivity. 

We would love to hear your thoughts on this story in the comments below, pandas. Have you ever been in a similar situation at work? Feel free to share, and then if you’re interested in checking out another Bored Panda article discussing similar themes, we recommend reading this one next!     

Readers applauded the employee for her malicious compliance, and she joined in on the conversation

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Some even had similar stories of their own to share

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Adelaide Ross

Adelaide Ross

Writer, BoredPanda staff

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Howdy, I'm Adelaide! I'm originally from Texas, but after graduating from university with an acting degree, I relocated to sunny Los Angeles for a while. I then got a serious bite from the travel bug and found myself moving to Sweden and England before settling in Lithuania about two years ago. I'm passionate about animal welfare, sustainability and eating delicious food. But as you can see, I cover a wide range of topics including drama, internet trends and hilarious memes. I can easily be won over with a Seinfeld reference, vegan pastry or glass of fresh cold brew. And during my free time, I can usually be seen strolling through a park, playing tennis or baking something tasty.

Read less »
Adelaide Ross

Adelaide Ross

Writer, BoredPanda staff

Howdy, I'm Adelaide! I'm originally from Texas, but after graduating from university with an acting degree, I relocated to sunny Los Angeles for a while. I then got a serious bite from the travel bug and found myself moving to Sweden and England before settling in Lithuania about two years ago. I'm passionate about animal welfare, sustainability and eating delicious food. But as you can see, I cover a wide range of topics including drama, internet trends and hilarious memes. I can easily be won over with a Seinfeld reference, vegan pastry or glass of fresh cold brew. And during my free time, I can usually be seen strolling through a park, playing tennis or baking something tasty.

Gabija Palšytė

Gabija Palšytė

Author, BoredPanda staff

Read more »

Gabija is a photo editor at Bored Panda. Before joining the team, she achieved a Professional Bachelor degree in Photography and has been working as a freelance photographer since. She also has a special place in her heart for film photography, movies and nature.

Read less »

Gabija Palšytė

Gabija Palšytė

Author, BoredPanda staff

Gabija is a photo editor at Bored Panda. Before joining the team, she achieved a Professional Bachelor degree in Photography and has been working as a freelance photographer since. She also has a special place in her heart for film photography, movies and nature.

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parmeisan avatar
Parmeisan
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You'd think these would get old, but I enjoy reading about cruel & dumb managers getting hit with consequences. I don't even care if it's made up. There are too many real workplaces like this with real managers crapping on hard-working people.

johnsmith_118 avatar
John Smith (he/him/xy/️)
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Congrats. Never agree to forced overtime either. If they can pay out overtime, they can also hire an extra person fullterm. If they don't pay out overtime, that's wage theft and you should report their a*s.

glennschroeder avatar
Papa
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This was difficult to read. I pretty much gave up toward the end.

aliciabobcheck avatar
Alicia Bobcheck
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yet you made it all the way to the end where the comments are. Good for you, lil fella!

Load More Replies...
parmeisan avatar
Parmeisan
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You'd think these would get old, but I enjoy reading about cruel & dumb managers getting hit with consequences. I don't even care if it's made up. There are too many real workplaces like this with real managers crapping on hard-working people.

johnsmith_118 avatar
John Smith (he/him/xy/️)
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Congrats. Never agree to forced overtime either. If they can pay out overtime, they can also hire an extra person fullterm. If they don't pay out overtime, that's wage theft and you should report their a*s.

glennschroeder avatar
Papa
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This was difficult to read. I pretty much gave up toward the end.

aliciabobcheck avatar
Alicia Bobcheck
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yet you made it all the way to the end where the comments are. Good for you, lil fella!

Load More Replies...
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