Fired for having a heart attack

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Fired for having a heart attack

Independent contractor, drives a tow truck. I was curious, our friend/roommate is in the hospital right now. He’s been fighting this flu going around, did not go to the hospital, just fought it at home. He missed 2 days work but made up for time lost on Saturday and Sunday. He then went to the ER because coughing and pain had gotten worse. Thedoctors found out he was in the middle of a heart attack while in the ER. They admitted him to work on his breathing issues and the heart attack. Thenext day they fired him. New Link Destination
day the doctors are moving him to UW for more testing etc. Can they fire him over a medical emergency?

Asked on February 21, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can be fired for missing work for *any* reason, including a medical emergency, unless one (or both in combination) of the following applies:
1) You had and used paid time off (PTO) you had earned for the absence;
2) If a medical reason for being out, you are eligible for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave (worked there at least a year; worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months), your employer is covered by FMLA (has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius), and you actually use FMLA leave.
Otherwise, the law does not make employers retain employees who miss work without using PTO or FMLA.

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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