I am a female employee. A few weeks ago, I got sick with common cold and cough. I used up all my sick days, but did not get better. I worked from home since my constant coughing, sneezing and blowing my nose was disturbing my colleagues, and they kept saying I should go home.
My manager was unhappy with me working from home, and kept hounding me to either come back to work or use my vacation days. I found out from HR that the company does allow more than 5 sick days, but my manager would not allow it. He asked for a doctor's note to prove that I was sick. Eventually, I did not get additional sick days, and had to come back to work.
A few days later, a male colleague fell sick. He had already used 4 sick days before, and then he used 4 more sick days. He was not asked to get the doctor's note, and he was not asked to use his vacation days.
Can I complain to HR about this gender bias? If I do complain, what kind of backlash should I expect from the manager? What can I do about that backlash?