Can a part-time employee be fired while out under medical leave?

If I provide my employer with a doctors note stating I cannot work for a specified time period, can I be fired? Even though, during training, I was told I could work from home and I informed my employer I would be happy to do so, but was refused? I also volunteered to come into work AMA, since I knew it would be busy at my place of business, and still was told not to.

Asked on June 8, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New York


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all, a doctor's note is not legally binding on an employer. It can choose to honor it or not. That having been said, if you are going to be out under the FMLA ("Family Medical Leave Act"), then no you cannot be fired for being out. Also, if you use PTO (sick days or vacation time), then you will be covered. Otherwise, you can be terminated for missing work due to an unexcused absence. That is assuming that there exists no employment contract or union agreement that provides otherwise.

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