terminated from job the same day surgeon released me to come back to work,is this legal? can i file un employment in alabama?

i had to have gallbladder surgery and in the process got an infected incision so i ended up being off about 4 weeks before surgeon decided to release me to go back to work Monday 6-13-16. i made sure i kept in touch with our nurse supervisor about every 4 days. i told her Friday that dr released me to come back Monday she then preceeded in telling me i would have to talk to human recourse lady before i came back. human recourse usually don’t arrive at work til about 9/930am while we are supposed to be there at 8am. so i was gonna wait til around 10/1030 to take my release paper to show at work. but before i could he human recourse lady called me and said she terminated me due to no calls no shows for three days. and that’s how it is written in handbook but how can i be terminated for that when i wasn’t released from surgeon. can i draw my unemployment? was i illeagally terminated?

Asked on June 15, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you violated company policy regarding absences and call-ins, then your termination was legal. This is true whether or not you were out on medical leave. The fact is that you were not discharged due to your condition; you were released for violating policy. Just because your surgeon said that you could not immediately return to work following your surgery, does not mean that you did not have to follow procedure. The only exceptions here would be if your firing constituted some form of legally actionable dscrimination (i.e. the call-in policy only applied to you based on your race, religion, nationality, gender, disability, etc.) or it violated the terms of an employment contract or union agreement (which you did not indicate).

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your surgeon has no authority over your employer--regardless of whether the surgeon released you, you still have your obligations to the employer, including calling in appropriately for absences, even medical-related absences. If you failed to call or show, did not use FMLA leave for all absences, and/or did not cover the absences with the use of PTO, you may be terminated for excessive absenteeism and would not be eligible for unemployment, if your employer chooses to contest your application for unemployment benefits.

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