Can my employer fire me for being sick?
No, employers are not allowed to terminate, discipline or otherwise retaliate against employees who take sick leave. Although you may be fired from your job while on sick leave, you cannot be fired simply for taking any protected sick leave to which you were entitled.
The California Family Rights Act allows employees to use job-protected sick leave for a serious health condition or to care for an ill loved one, among other reasons. Employers cannot deny workers the right to use their accrued sick leave. An employee who is fired for using earned sick leave may have a legal claim for wrongful termination.
The Family and Medical Leave Act provides federal protections. Eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks off in a 12-month period for several reasons, including a serious health condition or the birth of a child. Employees are allowed to return to their jobs once the sick leave is over. Firing or retaliating against a worker who takes leave is unlawful.
Another law that may apply is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA does not explicitly require employers to grant sick leave. However, an employee may have a wrongful termination claim if their employer fires them for taking time off as a reasonable accommodation related to a disability.
A point to note is that most employees in California are at-will, meaning they may be fired for any legal reason at all. Taking sick leave does not provide absolute protection from being fired. For example, your employer may fire you for failing to provide notice before going on leave or not complying with company policies.
If you believe you have been fired for an illegal reason or been denied your right to use accrued sick leave, contact Erlich Law Firm right away. If your employer terminated you because you took sick leave, you might have a wrongful termination claim. Discuss your case with an experienced employment law attorney who can help you understand your rights regarding sick leave and other types of protected leave.
Other Wrongful Termination FAQs:
- Can my employer fire me for being sick?
- Does my employer have to hold my job if I take medical leave?
- How long do I have to file a wrongful termination claim?
- I was recently fired from my job without any warnings or negative performance reviews. Was I wrongfully terminated?
- If I quit my job because conditions were intolerable, do I still have a case?
- What can I do if was wrongfully terminated?
- What should I do if I have been fired for reporting harassment or discrimination at work?
- What should I do if I have been unfairly fired from my job?
- What types of damages can I recover in a wrongful termination claim?
- Why do I need a lawyer for my wrongful termination claim?
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