Can an employer fire you while on short term disability?

I have worked an actual 1160 hours for my employer and additional hours for PTO which would be 1250 qualifying me for FMLA. My employer started I don’t qualify for FMLA. I took out and pay for STD and LTD. I started my STD leave about 40 days ago. I am currently in the 8th week of it. My employer said they would accommodate me and my disability. I agreed. The next day, I was fired. Can my employer legally do this since I agreed to them helping to accommodate me?

Asked on March 31, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You cannot be fired *because* you are on disability or because you have a medical condition: such is illegal retaliation for using a lawful benefit and/or illegal disability-based discrimination. If you believe that this was the case, contact the state department of labor to discuss the case--they may be able to help you (or may refer you to the federal EEOC for disability-based discrimination); alternately, you could speak with an employment law attorney about possibly suing.
Bear in mind that you could be terminated lawfully for unrelated reasons, if they are true (and provable), such as if you'd had ongoing performance issues, had been insubordinate, etc. You cannot be fired due to the leave or a disability, but those factors do not guaranty you employment in the face of other valid issues.


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