Can I be fired ifI was out on FMLA?

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Can I be fired ifI was out on FMLA?

I was out of work on FMLA for my mom who needed me around the clock. She died on 07/26 and I called into my job the whole time that I was out. When I called the day she died they didn’t say that I was fired and they called back 2 days later to get funeral arrangements. They still didn’t say that I was fired. After the funeral when I called about coming back to work I was ignored. I also have a lawsuit from when I was hurt there. I was told that I was replaced because my FMLA had expired which isn’t true.

Asked on August 23, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an attorney, such as the one representing you in the lawsuit, since so much depends on the exact timing and circumstances. As a general matter, you cannot be fired *because* you took FMLA leave, but you could be fired for unrelated reasons while on it. So, for example, if you had performance issues and you would have been fired anyway, but then went out on FMLA leave, you could be fired on your return; or if your dept. or job was being restructured, you could be fired for that reason on your return. And if you did exceed your FMLA leave and have unauthorized absences, tthat would indeed constitute valid grounds to terminate you. Since so much depends on the situation, you should discuss this matter with an attorney, as thoroughly and candidly as possible, bringing with all relevant documentation, notes, and paperwork. Good luck.


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