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 Can You Be Fired While on Medical Leave?

 Can You Be Fired While on Medical Leave?

Pregnant woman standing in hallway of hospital for when needing assistance with Medical Leave Attorney in Chicago.

The Family Medical Leave Act, also known as FMLA, is a labor law that requires employers to protect an employee’s job while they are away for family or medical reasons. This can include instances such as the birth of a child, tending to a serious illness, or caring for another individual with a serious illness. FMLA is intended to alleviate any stress or fear for employees that they may lose their jobs while away from work. Though FMLA helps protect an employee’s job status, individuals may question if they can still be fired while on medical leave. At the Law Offices of Mitchell A. Kline, we’re experts at advocating for employee rights and guaranteeing that wrongful termination does not occur.  

What’s Included in the Family and Medical Leave Act?

The Family and Medical Leave Act outline what employees are covered under when they take medical leave. This includes:

  • The right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for family or medical reasons, including the care of the employee or a family member. 
  • The right to return to the employee’s original job position with equal pay and benefits instilled before their leave.
  • The right to receive employee benefits while on leave. 

 In addition, an employee must qualify for FMLA, which includes working for the employer for at least 12 months and having worked at least 1,250 hours. 

Can My Employer Terminate Me While on FMLA?

As long as your employer is covered under FMLA and employees qualify, an employer is not able to terminate an employee while they’re on leave. However, an employee must abide by the rules of FMLA, meaning that they can’t take more than the allotted time without proper notice. In some instances, an employer does not cover FMLA and could fire an employee for taking medical leave. This can occur if the employer has fewer than 50 employees, is a private employer, or does not specify a sick leave policy. In these situations, an individual may be permitted to use sick days to cover their time off. However, an employer must offer sick days to employees in order to use them during this time. It’s important that employees understand their employer’s medical leave policies to ensure they aren’t wrongfully terminated. Our office is an expert at ensuring employee rights are protected in court and that our clients are treated fairly by their employers. 

What Should I Do if I Believe I’ve Been Wrongfully Terminated?

At the Law Offices of Mitchell A. Kline, we’re dedicated to helping our clients identify if their employer has wrongfully terminated them and provide assistance in receiving compensation. If an employer has disregarded the terms of their medical leave policy, we will work with you to ensure that your employer recovers your losses and reinstates your employment with full benefits. Whether your employer has denied you FMLA or has violated your employee rights, we will work to provide you with proper compensation.

Contact Us Today

If you have questions about your employer’s medical leave policy, contact us today. We will ensure that your rights are protected and that your employer doesn’t wrongfully terminate you.