A fill-in nurse was allegedly fired by her employer after she called out sick with the flu towards the end of 2017, according to the New York Daily News

Theresa Puckett, who was formerly employed at University Hospitals in Cleveland, said she was punished for coming down with the flu. Puckett's absence from work, however, was considered to be in violation with the hospital's attendance policy for fill-in nurses.

University Hospitals has a no-fault attendance policy that requires certain absences to be pre-approved, which is a policy the facility claimed is similar to those enforced by other health organizations regionally and nationally. Excused absences include jury duty and doctor's appointments, but it does not cover sick days.

Therefore, a note Puckett obtained from her doctor didn't qualify as an excusable reason for her to miss work.

"When it happened to me, and I really truly was too sick to go to work. I was punished for that," Puckett said to WEWS-TV. "I was punished for staying home with a doctor's note."

Puckett first called out sick just after Christmas. The former nurse was then sent home by a superior during a second shift after she continued to suffer from flu symptoms. These absences were not pre-approved, however.

Fill-in nurses, which are also referred to as a PRN, are open to being terminated if they acquire a minimum of two unapproved absences in a 60-day period, KRON reported.

"I was putting in my cough drops, I was drinking my water, I was putting in my Mucinex," Puckett told KRON. "I mean, the whole nine yards just to patch myself up enough to go to work."

In a January Facebook post, University Hospitals requested that patients suffering flu symptoms stay home to avoid subjecting other individuals at the facility with the illness. This post was shared shortly after Puckett's firing. 

"Visitor restrictions are in place for the safety of our patients, staff, and the public," the hospital wrote on Facebook. "UH Parma and UH Elyria are currently restricting anyone younger than 18, or anyone, regardless of age, who exhibits flu-like symptoms. Please call ahead to any of our facilities that you plan to visit to get up-to-date information on visitor restrictions."