What are my rights if I had to have emergency surgery and while out healing, my employer told me that I was a liability now and it didn’t have time to wait for me to heal so they fired me?

Asked on August 27, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Your employer can do this unless--
1 You have sufficient paid time off PTO to use to cover your time away from work, since you should not be terminated for using a benefit you earned as part of your compensation for your job and/or
2 You are eligible for, and properly use, unpaid Family and Medical Leave Act FMLA leave for your time off, since you can't be terminated for using a benefit the law gives you--to be eligible for FMLA leave, your employer needs to have at least 50 employees, you must have worked for them for a year or more, and you must have worked 1,250 hour or more during the last 12 months.
Otherwise, however, your employer does not need to employ or hold jobs for people who miss work for any reasons, including injury, illness, or recovery, so if you did not have and use PTO, or are not eligible for and/or did not use FMLA leave, they appear able to do this.

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