Can I be fired for not having a licenseif Ididn’t have one when I was hired?

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Can I be fired for not having a licenseif Ididn’t have one when I was hired?

I was in a wreck a few months ago and was put on medical leave 11 weeks ago. When I called my boss to let him know that I was trying to get back to work this week he said grea; to keep him posted. That was Monday, yet on Friday I received a letter in the mail that I was terminated due to having no license and one was needed for my job.  Additionally, they hoped that I took care of it while I was on medical leave. No oneever  told me that. I had heard right after I was put on leave that they weren’t letting me come back. I had not yet been released from doctor’s care when fired. I didn’t have a license when hired 12 years ago.

Asked on December 4, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The question may be, do you actually need a license for your job--e.g. do you drive for work, such as to other locations, to clients or customers, to pick up stuff or deliver it. If you do, you clearly do need a license to do the job, and while it would be better had the employer actually checked before you received the job or that particular position requiring driving, they would have assumed that if you did drive, you had the license since you did not tell  them otherwise; they would then be within their rights to terminate you on discovering you did not have a license.

On the other the other hand, you should not be fired for having been injured or on medical leave, at least  as long as there is a job you can do (a valid job) at that employer, including with some accomodations (e.g. a change in duties; some reasonably priced assistive technology). Therefore, if you think that you don't actually need to drive for the job and claiming you are being fired for that reason is just a pretext for firing you for some improper reason, such as your race, religion, sex, age over 40, or disability, or for taking some protected leave, then you should speak with an employment attorney.


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