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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.


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