Can you be terminated from a job while out on medical leave without having FMLA?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can you be terminated from a job while out on medical leave without having FMLA?

I was terminated from my job on the 2/20/17 due to the fact, once I was due to return back to work, I had given another doctors excuse that restricted me from 1. lifting of packages greater than 10lbs.2 No repetitive bending, 3. No pushing, pulling, or twisting until 3/13/2017. The director of the human resource office stated to me that I can not return to work with restriction she also stated, that I must be able to perform the job with no restrictions. There’s more but I would like to know if I have a very good case against this job.

Asked on February 22, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

First of all, a doctor's note is not legally binding on an employer, so it need not honor such a note. Therefore, if you could not fully perform your job duties (i.e. work with no restrictions), your employer was within its rights to terminate you. Additionally, a company is typically free to discharge an at-will worker who misses too much work since a basic job requirement is attendance. That having been said, your absences are protected if any of the following apply: the FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act); the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act); workers' compensation laws; state paid sick leave laws; or if you had PTO that you could use to cover your time out. Bottom line, unless you had protection under the terms of an employment contract or collective bargaining/union agreement, your company was free to set the conditions of employment much as it saw fit.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption