Can I sue for retaliation?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I sue for retaliation?

My manager is the HR executive and is aware of my depression. About a month ago, I had a bad dizzy spell where I almost fainted. My doctor recommended that I take 2 weeks off, which I did and informed my manager. During my time off, the CFO checked in and I confided in him my fear of my manager. I had kept a log and shared it with him. Last week, I returned to work. I had a meeting with my manager, during which she told me that she knew of my report and I was then fired.

Asked on May 25, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you were fired for having depression, that is illegal, and you should have a viable employment discrimination case. However--
1) If you are fired because you are afraid of your manager, that is not discrimination against you due to you having depression--it is termination because you have expressed a fear of a specific person which could impact your job performance, such as by impeding communication or cooperation. Admiting you have a problem with your manager is valid grounds for termination.
2) If you did not either use PTO to cover your two weeks off, or else meet (and the company met) the criteria for FMLA leave and you used FMLA leave, you could be terminated for an unauthorized absence--your employer does not need to let you take time off except for FMLA or with PTO.

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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