Can I lay off worker who was injured on job once they are released from injury leave, if I have eliminated the need for the position?

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Can I lay off worker who was injured on job once they are released from injury leave, if I have eliminated the need for the position?

n Illinois

Asked on October 1, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If an employee is out on injury leave then they cannot be fired simply for being out. That having been said, if their termination is due to another reason unrelated to the one that they were out on leave for, then it is legal. If the position has been eliminated that would be a legitimate reason for termination.

As a general rule an employer can hire/fire an employee for any reason or no reason at all. That is, so long as the employee is an "at will" employee. Therefore unless there is an employment/union agreement to the contrary, or this action violates company policy or it is the result of discrimination, you should be in the clear legally.


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