I am 20 weeks pregnant and was fired for missing 2 weeks from work due to being in the hospital twice in that2 week period, is that legal?

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I am 20 weeks pregnant and was fired for missing 2 weeks from work due to being in the hospital twice in that2 week period, is that legal?

Asked on February 21, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Employees can be fired for missing work without either authorization from the employer or the use of some form of paid time off (PTO), like sick days, to cover the time.

Employeres are not generally required to provide employees with either sick days or approval to take unpaid time off for medical reasons. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) does allow employees to take unpaid time for either birth and newborn care, or for significant health issues/medical care; therefore, if you and your employer are both covered by FMLA leave, the employer may have been required to provide you unpaid time off for your hospitalization.

An employer is only covered if it has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius. An employee is covered only if she has worked there more-or-less full time for a around a year.

If you think you and your employer may have both qualified under FMLA, you should discuss the sitution and your rights in more detail with an employment law attorney.

However, if you or your employer would not be covered under FMLA leave, you did not have and use paid time off for those two weeks, and the employer did not otherwise authorize your absence, they would most likely be able to fire you.


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