We usually see employees taking time off due to several medical conditions or injuries. However, if an employer terminates or fires someone because they took medical leave, the termination is unlawful. No employer can use the worker’s job-protected medical leave against them at all. Also, firing someone on medical leave depends on the type of leave that the employee has taken and other factors.
If you believe you were wrongfully terminated when you were on medical leave, you deserve justice. Contact an employment lawyer in New Jersey today.
Important terms related to medical leave
Family and Medical Leave Act.
The family and medical leave act allow an unpaid employee leave of up to 12 weeks for their medical treatment or any family member. However, this law is not for everyone. To qualify for this law, the employee must have to work at least one year for a total of at least 1,250 work hours in the previous year.
Americans with Disabilities Act.
The ADA law prohibits discrimination against any worker with a disability. Employers should provide reasonable accommodation to persons with disabilities to make the job suitable. Reasonable accommodations include unpaid leave, flexible work schedule, making the work area wheelchair accessible, etc.
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List of possible reasons for your termination while on medical leave.
Whether your termination was legal or not depends on the grounds on which you were fired. The federal and state laws prohibit employers from firing employees solely because they are on leave and protect workers from illegal termination.
On the other hand, you may not be able to sue your employer simply based on the fact that they fired you during your leave. However, an attorney can investigate your situation, including reviewing the reason for termination and the timing. If your attorney finds no reasonable reason to fire you, you may file a case.
The fact that your employer fired you while you were on medical leave alone is not enough to prove wrongful termination. Your employer may argue that they had a good reason for terminating you and that it had nothing to do with your illness or injury. It is important to retain an attorney to find evidence supporting your case in such cases.
Legal reasons why your employer may fire you include:
- You had been performing poorly at your job before the medical leave.
- You are no longer needed for the job position by the time your leave ends.
- The company is facing losses and thus laying workers off.
- Your return to the job poses a great financial burden to your employer due to the requirements of disability accommodations in the office.
If your employer has fired you and you are unsure why, then it is time to call an attorney and discuss your situation. An attorney can determine whether your termination was illegal and help you gather evidence against your employer.