Can I file suit against myemployer for refusing to bring me back after medical leave?

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Can I file suit against myemployer for refusing to bring me back after medical leave?

In January this year I had an epileptic seizure at the office of my employment as an outside sales rep. I was told to follow doctors orders and not drive for 6 months. Because I was unable to drive I was laid off and have been collecting unemployment for 6 months. Now I have a written clean bill of health and permission from my physician to return to driving as well as work. My employer says that I would be an insurance liability and is giving me the run around about coming back to work after they promised me my job would be waiting when I came back. What can I do?

Asked on July 11, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, your employer would really only have to legally hold your position for 3 months. This is pursuant to protocols of the Family Medical Leave Act (think short term disability). Your lawyer is correct to assume that your past history of epilepsy could impact its potential liability by allowing you to drive again, not knowing if you will have another seizure (especially while driving). If you are concerned that perhaps you were discriminated against, consider speaking with a labor lawyer in your state about your state's case law on similar or same employment situations. If there is case law to help you, you may be in luck but unfortunately, you may not much legal ground to force your employer to hire you back. Consider also talking to your local office of the attorney general about any brochures it may have on such subjects or the department of labor regarding the same.


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