Can I be fired for not picketing due to medical reasons while my union is on strike?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I be fired for not picketing due to medical reasons while my union is on strike?

My union is currently on strike. I am 19, 5 months pregnant, and I have been experiencing back and hip problems due to that. I have a medical note citing I was examined and should not partake in striking activities due to a pregnancy related condition. I showed up to one picket shift Thursday

but went home in pain and have not gone since then. Can I be fired when the strike is over after presenting the note to my managers and if so, would I be entitled to legal action?

Asked on April 15, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It is illegal to discriminate against, including firing, employees due to disabilities, and pregnancy is considered a temporary disabiity for this purpose. If you were fired for not being able to picket when you had medical advice that you should not picket, you would have an employment discrimination claim and could contact the federal EEOC or your state's equal/civil rights agency to file a complaint.

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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