Can my employer fire me while I am on medical leave?
No, employers are not allowed to fire or otherwise punish a worker for taking protected medical leave. The Family and Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act give workers the right to take job-protected medical leave for an illness or serious health condition. A worker who goes on medical leave has the right to keep the same job or a similar position after returning to work from their time off.
A point to note, however, is that going on medical leave does not protect workers from being fired based on a legitimate reason. For example, a termination may be lawful if the employee’s job no longer exists due to a company-wide layoff, or if the worker violated the employer’s policies by taking medical leave without advance notice.
It is not always easy to figure out whether an employer has fired you based on unlawful reasons. If you suspect you were wrongfully terminated while you were on medical leave, discuss your situation with an experienced Oakland employment lawyer.
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