Can I sue for retaliation?

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.


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