Can I lose my job if I’m out on approved sick leave?

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Can I lose my job if I’m out on approved sick leave?

I am working in a multinational company for the past 4 years. I have some health issues (i.e. a disc complaint

and cyst problem). For my treatment, I asked 45 days leave from the company. HR and the senior GM sanctioned my leave. However, after 1 month I called to HR and they told me that the company appointed a new staff member for my position without giving any indication beforehand of this to me. Does the company have the right to do like? Can I file a suit againt my employer for this?

Asked on December 16, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Because they sanctioned your leave and you only took leave (we assume) after the company approved it, and so in reliance on it, they cannot take away your job. They could transfer you to a position at a similar level of authority and compensation if they needed your position filled during this time (they do not give up the right to manage their business), but cannot deny you re-employment when you only went on leave with their approval. Based on what you writ, you likely have a claim for wrongful termination--and very possibly for illegal disability-based discrimination, too, if there is any reason to believe that they did this on account on your health issues. Such claims are not necessarily simple or straighforward to bring--this is not like suing someone in small claims court over an unpaid bill or unreturned security deposit. You are strongly advised to retain an employment law attorney to assist you.


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