What to do if Iwas fired from my job after nearly 32 years without being given a reason?

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What to do if Iwas fired from my job after nearly 32 years without being given a reason?

I was fired from my job after working for them for nearly 32 years. When I asked them to give me a reason theirresponse was that they did not need to give me a reason. I worked for the UTHSCSA for 21 years. The billing dept for which I worked got sued so we had to become a private sector for 10 years. Approximately 6 months ago we went back to being state employees. About 1 week before the 6 month probation period ended, they fired me. My doctor had filed out FMLA papers for my RA 3 months ago. My job denied it even though my doctor stated that my diease may limit my ability to work.

Asked on March 13, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

RAis rheumatoid arthritis, correct?  I really think that because of all the complicated issues regarding your employment status and your disability issue that you need to speak nwith an employment attorney in your area.  Generally speaking an employee without a contract is an employee at will and you can be fired or resign at any time.  Th red flags that go up in your question though are the issue of the denial of FMLA, which needs to be looked in to, and being let go one week before the probationary period ended.  Something is just right here but I can not put my finger on it.  Get some advice from an attorney in your area.  Good luck.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an employment attorney, as there are several possible issues:

1) Generally, if you did not have an employment contract (or were subject to a union agreement), you may be fired at any time, for any reason, and the employer does not owe you an explanation--you are an employee at will. If there was a contract, it's terms vis-a-vis firing and termination will be followed.

2) If there are civil service or other rules governing your position, however, it may be that you could only be fired in accordance with them--though if there was a probationary period that allowed firing at will, that will generally be respected, even up to 1 week before its expiration.

3) You can't be fired for requesting FMLA leave, though you can be fired for unconnected reasons despite having requested it.

4) Employers must make reasonable accomodations for employees with disabilities, but not all medical conditions qualify as disabilities--and the employer is only required to make "reasonable" accomodations.

With several potential issues--civil service or equivalent rules for a state employee; the FMLA application; the probationary period; possibily a disability issue--it's worth discussing the situation in detail with an employment lawyer. Good luck.


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