If I got fired from my job due to a medical emergency, do I have a case?

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If I got fired from my job due to a medical emergency, do I have a case?

I was fired when I said I had to go to the hospital for personal emergency. My supervisor would not call an ambulance nor would he drive me to the hospital himself. When I told him I needed

medical attention he de-badged me and told his supervisor he needed a new worker effective immediately.

Asked on August 12, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Were you injured by work--i.e. by a coworker, by equipment at work, by faulty machinery or appliances or furniture, etc.? If so, they can't fire you over needing medical attention due to a work-related injury, and you may be entitled to Worker's Compensation or be able to sue the employer for your injury and medical costs).  If this was the case, speak to an attorney about your rights and options.
However, if the "personal emergency" was not caused by the workplace, they could terminate you if you left work without using paid time off (PTO; e.g. sick or personal days) you'd earned to cover the absence or without using FMLA leave (assuming you, the workplace, and the emergency were all covered by FMLA; you can find the criteria for FMLA on the U.S. Dept. of Labor website). That is because, barring the use of PTO or FMLA leave, an employer is not obligated to allow an employee to leave work, even for a personal emergency, and may terminate employees who do. (It goes without saying that in this case, they had no obligation to call you an ambulence or drive you to the hospital--it was your emergency, not theirs.)


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