Can I be terminated in Wisconsin while on short term medical disability?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Can I be terminated in Wisconsin while on short term medical disability?

I work for a small family owned funeral home. I needed to have both hips replaced
due to osteo arthritis. They said my job was safe for 4 months, Dr. wouldn’t
release me until 6 months. After 5 months I was send a certified letter that I
was terminated.

Asked on August 20, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you may be terminated. Disability does not hold or protect your job: it provides income replacement when you can't work. There is no right to miss work and retain your job, even if you miss it for medical reasons, if you are out for longer than you have 1) paid time off (e.g. vacation or sick leave) to use, plus 2) FMLA unpaid leave, if you and your company are both covered (many small businesses are not: they must have at least 50 employees located or working within a 75-mile radius to be covered). Since FMLA at most is 12 weeks and you were out at lest 5 months, unless you were eligible for FMLA and had an extra 8 weeks of PTO to use, they could terminate you for absenteeism.

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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