can a company terminate employment for asking some time off to care for an elderly parent with dementia?

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can a company terminate employment for asking some time off to care for an elderly parent with dementia?

Living and caring for a parent
with dementia. During the day
the spouse was there to keep an
eye on the other, but recently
spouse walks out on caring for
the other. i cannot leave my
parent home alone and the need
to file for divorce, i asked my
employer for a short time off to
tend to those needs.
Though i only have less than six
months with this company,
sitiation still arose and i also
made it known that i am caring
for my elderly parent and may
need sudden time off for those
emergencies. it was agreed n
understood and i was hired.
but now that i asked for that
emergency need, i was
terminated after i was placed on
suspension and investigative
review.
can they just terminate
employment like that?

Asked on July 29, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your employer may terminate your employment at any time, for any reason unless you have a written employment contract which restricts the reasons or the process/procedure by which you may be terminated. In particular, you may be terminated for taking off, or telling your employer that will need to take off, time to care for your eldery parent unless 1) you used paid time off (PTO) which you have accrued to cover the absences; or 2) the employer is covered by, you are eligible for, and you properly applied for and used FMLA leave. Otherwise, your employer may terminate you for missing work or telling the employer that you will miss work; the law does not make employers keep employees who miss work when the absence is not covered by PTO or FMLA.


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