I am out on medical leave and since I am part-time I am not protected under FMLA or disability. I provided notes to my employer, they returned emails stating that it was not a problem

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I am out on medical leave and since I am part-time I am not protected under FMLA or disability. I provided notes to my employer, they returned emails stating that it was not a problem

I did not disclose my medical condition under HIPPA. I receive a certified letter today that I have been terminated

Asked on January 14, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You cannot be fired due to having a medical condition ordisability. That would constitute actionable discrimination, which is illegal. That having been said, you can be fired for other reasons such excessive absenteeism if you did not use PTO or sick days to cover your time out (or for any other valid reason - poor job peformance; inability to get along with co-workers, etc.). That is unless doing so would violate the terms of a union agreement or employment contract. Bottom line, being sick does not mean that you cannot be fired it just means that being sick cannot be the reason.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

They cannot terminate you for having a medical condition or disability--such would be illegal disability-based discrimination--but they can terminate you for other reasons, including excessive absenteeism if you missed work without using FMLA leave (which you were apparently not eligible for) or paid time off you had earned  (e.g. sick or vacation days). Having a medical condition doesn't protect you from being terminated; it just means you can't be terminated for the condition, but unauthorized or excessive absence, even if due to the condition, is considered behavior (missing work) not a condition, and is grounds for termination.


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