Can I sue for being fired with no compensation after being cleared to go back to work after an injury?

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Can I sue for being fired with no compensation after being cleared to go back to work after an injury?

Non work related injury. Fractured my foot and
had to take some time off work to recover, work
on my feet. Total time was 1 month, employer
said it was ok, to feel better and let her know
of any progress, I checked in after every
appointment.
The moment I was cleared for work I sent the
message that I could go back to work as long as
I dont lift too much weight.
I then recieved a message back saying that my
job was no longer available because they had to
hire other people to take my place during the
month and that the payroll had been maxed out.
I did alot for the company and played a vital
role, the company paid us as independent
contractors even though everyone was fulltime
working there everyday, and did not pay
overtime.
I recieved no compensation for being fired and
no notice before I told them I was ready to
come back to work. Legally can I do anything?

Asked on May 23, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Did you use FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) leave? Which also means was your employer covered (it has at least 50 employees who work within a 75-mile radius) and were no eligible (worked there at least one year? worked at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 months?)? If your employer was covered, you were eligible, and you actually used FMLA leave (asked to take leave under FMLA) then they had to hold your job for you or give you an equivalent job. If they did not, you could file a complaint for a FMLA violation with the department of labor.
But if your employer was not covered, you were eligible, or you did not use FMLA leave, you had no protection for your job, and they could fill your position and terminate you at will, without having to provide any compensation. Only FMLA or a similar state law--and FL does not have a similar state law--protects or holds your job. Without FMLA, you would have no recourse.


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