Can you get fired while on disabilty?

UPDATED: Sep 17, 2011

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Can you get fired while on disabilty?

I hurt my knee after my grandpa’s funeral and have been off of work for a few months and started my disability. Now I’m going to have surgery but my job fired me.

Asked on September 17, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can't be fired simply because you went on disability. However, in some circumstances, depending on how long you've been off work and how much longer it will be before you can return to work, your employer may be able to terminate you.

In other words, if you were fired solely for the reason that you are on medical leave then it is not legal.  However, if you have been out for an extended period (in CA 180 days or more), your employer has the right to re-place you.  Additionally, if you were laid because of other work-related reasons then your dismissal is also legal. 

Bottom line, being out on medical leave does not automatically mean that you can't be discharged. 

If you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated, you can file a complaint with CA Department of industrial Relations or consult diereclty with an employment law attorney.

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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