Can I get fired for being injured at home and couldn’t work even though I have doctors authorization

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Can I get fired for being injured at home and couldn’t work even though I have doctors authorization

I was at home when my back went out. I submitted for a LOA and they wouldn’t give me leave of absence . doctors orders were I couldn’t lift over 5 lbs. Can they hold me accountable?

Asked on December 13, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be terminated for not being able to work and/or missing work due to injury. The law does not make employers give employees medical leave *unless* the employer is covered by FMLA (has at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius) and the employee is eligible for FMLA leave (has worked there at least a year; has worked at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 months). If your employer is covered and you are eligible, you can take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave for medical reasons: if they won't give it to you when you are entitled to it, contact the department of labor to file a complaint.
But if your location/employer is not covered by FMLA, or you have not worked enough to be eligible, then the employer does not need to give you a leave of absence and can terminate you if you don't or won't work. They can also terminate you if do get FMLA leave, use it all, and still do not return to work.


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