Q & A Session – Denial of Sick Leave


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


I have been having some issues at work lately and was referred to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) by my supervisor. My EAP counselor recommended that I take a few weeks off to rest. When I requested time off, my request was denied. My boss informed me that since my EAP counselor was not a doctor the request did not have to be honored. He referred me to EAP in the first place and I have well over 500 hours of sick leave available to me. Is this denial legal?


It may be legal, but it is certainly perplexing. It reminds me of the Army phenomenon of hurry up and wait. Your EAP counselor recommendation can probably easily be affirmed by our doctor and then you can take the sick leave.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw, Bransford & Roth, PC.

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

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