Do I have a case for wrongful termination and is there a statue of limitations?

I was terminated from my job due to
hospitalization because of acute kidney
failure. There are over 100 employees
at 2 locations.

Asked on March 2, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

IF the 100+ employees at 2 locations are located within 75 miles of each other, and you have worked at this employer for a year or more, and worked at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 months, you should be covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
If you are covered by FMLA, then, the question becomes whether 1) you actually applied for it--an employer does not have to assume you were taking it if you never asked (when possible, you ask ahead of time, but when there is an emergency, you can request it as soon as reasonably possible after the crises stabilizes), and 2) did you use only up to 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA leave.
If you were under FMLA, did request FMLA leave, and did not exceed the maximum of 12 weeks, then they could not terminate you for the absence; doing so would be illegal retaliation, and you would have a legal claim against them. In this case, you could contact the state or federal Dept. of Labor to file a wrongful termination claim.
But if you were not covered by FMLA--which would include if between the two locations, you did not have at least 50 employees within 75 miles of where you worked, or if you did not work enough hours or work here long enough--or were covered, but never asked to use it, or were covered and asked to use it, but were out for more than 12 weeks, then you could be legally terminated.


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