Can an employer let you go if you are on a medical leave?

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Can an employer let you go if you are on a medical leave?

I was on an assignment through a temp
agency and while on a medical leave I
was terminated from my position. Is
this legal?

Asked on April 4, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It you were out and covered by PTO (sick days or vacation time), the FMLA (i.e. the Family and Medical Leave Act), the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) or workers' comp, and you were fired solely for that fact (i.e. there was no other work related reason for your dismissal), then your termination would be illegal. However, if you were not using any available PTO, etc. to cover your time out then your absences would be grounds for termination, since attendance is a basic job requirement. The only other recourse ou would have here is if your treatment constituted some form of legally actionable discrimination or if it violated the terms of a union agreement/employment contract. Otherwise, as an "at will" worker, you could have been fired for any reason or no reason at all.


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