Can I be fired for being ill while pregnant?

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Can I be fired for being ill while pregnant?

I am 20 weeks along. I gave my employer a doctor’s note that did not say to stay home; it said to take

it easy. Well, my boss said OK. They keep pushing me beyond the limits of my note so when I had to go home today for being ill and in severe pain, they emailed me to stay home while they

Asked on July 25, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

They cannot fire you if--
1) You are eligible for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) coverage (have worked there at least 1 year; worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months), the employer is covered by FMLA (has at least 50 employees located within a 75-mile radius), *and* you use unpaid FMLA leave to take time off while you can't work.
2) You stay out of work when you can't work and use paid time off (PTO), like sick or vacation leave you earned, to cover the absence.
However, if you can't do your job--either you can't work your full hours, or you can't do the core or important aspects of your job (this is what we mean by "can't work" for this answer: can't do all your responsibilities or full hours)--then you may be terminated. An employer has no obligation to retain someone who misses work or cannot do her job, even due to pregnancy, unless that person uses FMLA or PTO for any missed work. The doctor's note has no authority over your employer.


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