Is it legal if I was fired because I had to leave early from work due to my mother going to the emergency room?

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Is it legal if I was fired because I had to leave early from work due to my mother going to the emergency room?

I was told to leave by my supervisor because of a phone call from my mother’s doctor to bring her to the emergency room. My supervisor told me that when I came back to work tomorrow and give

documentation. The next day I was told I was fired. Is this wrongfully termination?

Asked on August 11, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you had left without supervisor permission, it would be proper or legal termination, assuming you did not have and use paid time off (like personal days) to cover the absence: employees do not have an intrinsic legal right to leave work for a family member's injury or medical treatment (unless the employee, the employer, and the situation are all covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the employee properly used FMLA leave; you can find information about FMLA on the U.S. Department of Labor website). 
However, if a supervisor told you to leave, you can't be fired for doing what you were told to do. If they won't restore you, you could sue for wrongful termination. Keep any and all documentation that the supervisor gave you permission (e.g. any texts, emails, etc.) handy for possible court; if any other employees heard the discussion, you may need to them to testify to reinforce your own testimony.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you had left without supervisor permission, it would be proper or legal termination, assuming you did not have and use paid time off (like personal days) to cover the absence: employees do not have an intrinsic legal right to leave work for a family member's injury or medical treatment (unless the employee, the employer, and the situation are all covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the employee properly used FMLA leave; you can find information about FMLA on the U.S. Department of Labor website). 
However, if a supervisor told you to leave, you can't be fired for doing what you were told to do. If they won't restore you, you could sue for wrongful termination. Keep any and all documentation that the supervisor gave you permission (e.g. any texts, emails, etc.) handy for possible court; if any other employees heard the discussion, you may need to them to testify to reinforce your own testimony.


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