Can one be terminated if taking off too many days for being sick?

If I am seeing a doctor for medical issues and take off sick due to my illness, can a contracting company terminate my employment? Prior to this, I always volunteered for overtime and worked on-call many times without any issues. I love my job, however I have been told that I have taken too many days off sick. They never took into consideration the amount of overtime I volunteered and worked the hours.

Asked on September 5, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, West Virginia


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless you have sick days or PTO to cover your absences or you are protected by the FMLA (the Family Medical Leave Act), then your employer can terminate you for excessive absences, no matter the reason. After all, attendance is a basic requirement for most jobs. The exceptions would be unless such treatment constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination (which it does not appear to since you have no diagnosed disabilty). Also, such an action must not violate the terms of an employment contract or union agreement. Otherwise, a business can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit.

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