Can an employer fire you and cancel your health in insurance if you are off sick and under a doctor’s care?

UPDATED: Sep 17, 2010

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Can an employer fire you and cancel your health in insurance if you are off sick and under a doctor’s care?

Asked on September 17, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Nebraska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Very possibly, yes. First, employers may not discriminate against the disabled, and some illnesses mayy qualify as disability for that purpose. Second, employers may not fire someone for using a legally protected right, such as taking FMLA leave for medical reasons. So there are grounds under which they might not be able to fire you BECAUSE you are sick or on leave, though it depends on the exact circumstances.

Howeever, nothing stops an employer from firing someone who is sick for other, valid reasons: i.e. bad job performance, insubordination, restructuring or downsizing, etc. So very likely, if you were terminated for a reason not related to your illness, it is valid. If you feel, on the other hand, the termination was illness-related, you should consult with an employment attorney to see if, under the circumstances, you might have a claim or cause of action.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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