CanI be fired for medical reasons?

I have been employed for over 6 years and lately I have had to go for medical care.I have a fully documented FMLA and have doctor notes to back them up. They are terminating me for attendance related to those. Is this right?

Asked on March 30, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should consult with an employment attorney. Employees may not be fired for validly or properly using FMLA leave, though note: not all companies are covered (they need over a certain number--50, I believe--of employees) and also not all employees are covered, too (there are certain requirements about how long you've been there and hours worked). Also you have to request FMLA leave properly, and do it ahead of time (you can't miss work without comment, then retroactively call it FMLA leave).

However, if you used up all your leave--or, as stated above, you or your company do not qualify; or you did apply for leave properly--you could be fired for absenteeism or attendence related reasons, even if you have a medical condition. (Though if your condition rises to the level of a "disability," the company may have to make certain accomodations for you.)

As you can see, whether this was proper or not depends on the circumstances, which an employment attorney could evaluate for you.

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