If they are “concerned” about the abuse of sick time maybe they need to be looking why employees would want to abuse sick time. But then again they wouldn’t because it’s easier and probably cheaper in the long run to just try to hold out breaking laws and getting sued instead of fixing pay, working conditions, and whatever else might be wrong.
I suspect that you're right. My employer is doing the same, claiming that they'll demand doctor's notes whenever we call in sick on Monday or Friday. The real issue is that they pay so poorly relative to other employers that they can't staff subs on those days. So... Instead of raising pay and improving conditions and actually making people want to come in to work as subs, or enticing the rest of us to cover and take extra duties, they're just threatening us, forcing us to come in sick. We then infect everyone else around us, driving up the absenteeism rate. Its a vicious circle which no one except the rank and file seem to perceive. I was out for several Mondays and Fridays due to ortho appointments from on the job injuries (some irony there) and they still harassed me over it. I guess the only piece of good news is that based upon my state's retirement formula, my roughly 150 days of accrued sick leave are worth around $26,000 that the powers that be will have to pay me when I retire. That's almost twice what a sub will cost for each day, and that's before I add in the accrued sick time from another agency in another sick bank. Penny wise and pound foolish? Thinking short term instead of long term? No one ever said that government bureaucrats were smart.
The bottom line is that if you pay decently, treat your employers well and make the workplace welcoming, employers won't have a problem. They also have to accord with state labor laws. Don't like the law? Then either work through the democratic process to change the law, or leave the state. That sounds harsh, but they're really the only options other than violating the law which will get them into hot water in the courts, as we're seeing now with AA. I always think back to Henry Ford and welfare capitalism. Its too bad that companies today don't understand history.