Getting fired while having a mental illness

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Getting fired while having a mental illness

Getting fired while having a mental
illness,I got fired while working at
Walmart and I was in the hospital for a
mental illness reason and they fired me
for absent and while in the hospital.I
called the store to let them know that I
was in the hospital and one of the
employers and I’ll pass it onto the
manager and therefore I was fired
because that there was no call no show
and they have a zero policy for that one
on my legal rights

Asked on November 11, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

IF you had and used paid time off you had earned or accrued (like sick or vacation leave) to cover your absence, they could not fire you for that, since to do so would be to effectivley deny you compensation (the PTO) you had earned by working and you could sue them. Or if the company was covered by the FMLA (at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius) and you were also eligible for FMLA leave (worked there at least a year; worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months) and requested unpaid FMLA leave, they could not fire for doing so--if they did, that would be illegal retaliation for using a legal benefit or right, and you could file a complaint with the department of labor and/or sue.
But if you neither had available nor used PTO or FMLA leave, you could be fired for absence, regardess of whether it was due to a medical (e.g. mental illness) reason or not. The law does not require employers to retain employees who miss work, unless it was due to the use of PTO or FMLA leave. So without PTO or FMLA, they could terminate you legally.


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