Can I legally get terminated while on medical leave after FMLA is exhausted?

I am currently on medical leave per my health care provider. I have been of from work about 3 months now and my FMLA have been exhausted but I am still out on leave for my condition have not improved. Could I apply ADA in this case and, if so, how do I go about doing so? I was told that I would not have job protection but I am still suffering form my condition which is severe depression, PTSD and anxiety. It is making things a little complicating for me.

Asked on September 21, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, once your FMLA leave runs out, unless you have and use paid time off (PTO), like sick or vacation days, to cover your absence, you may be fired if you miss work, even for medical reasons. That's why the FMLA was passed in the first place: to guaranty employees in covered companies at least 3 months leave for medical causes, because before the FMLA, there was *no* guaranteed leave--and even today, once FMLA leave is used up, the employer may terminate you for absenteeism. The fact that you have a medical need to stay on leave does not obligate your employer to retain an employee who is not working. The ADA will not help you: it means that you can't be terminated for simply having a medical condition or disability, but it doesn't protect you from being terminated for what you do at work, such as unauthorized absences. Your behavior can result in your termination, even though the mere fact of having a medical condition can not.

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