Is it legal for an employer to fire you while off work by a doctor’s orders after they refused to give workers comp?

I was injured at work on an offsite job. When I got back to our shop I told 2 managers that I had been injured and would be going to the doctor. The next day, none of the managers remember me mentioning any of it to them, so now I’m paying for my doctor under my

insurance and they had me take 2 weeks to rest. I went back to the doctor after 2 weeks to get a doctor’s note. I sent it to my boss only to find out that I have been fired for a week. What are my options?

Asked on April 26, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether you--
1) had and used paid time off (such as sick days) to cover your absence; and/or
2) your company was covered by, you were eligible for, and you used FMLA leave for the absence (you can find the FMLA rules on the U.S. Dept. Of Labor website).
If 1) or 2) apply, they can't fire you. But if not, they could; the law does not make employers keep employees who miss work, even due to doctor's instructions, if they don't use paid time off or leave given them under the law (FMLA) for the absence. Missing work is genarally grounds for termination.

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