Can you be laid off while on medical leave?

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Can you be laid off while on medical leave?

Asked on November 29, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It depends. First of all you would have had to have had to have been covered under the FMLA. If so, then you may still have been able to have been laid off. If you were fired solely for the reason that you were on medical leave, then it was probably not legal (I say probably because if this leave has been for an extended period, your employer has the right to re-place you (e.g. more than 180 days in some states). However, if you were laid because of other work-related reasons then, yes, it is legal. Being out on medical leave does not automatically mean that you can't be terminated.  It means that you can't be terminated for the sole reason of being on leave.

If you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated, you can file a complaint with your state's department of labor and/or you discuss your situation with an attorney who specializes in employment law.


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