What can I do if I had a doctor’s note to be off of work but I got fired anyway?

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What can I do if I had a doctor’s note to be off of work but I got fired anyway?

I was just recently fired within the last hour over the phone on my day off. I was in the hospital yet again yesterday. The hospital found possible blood clots in my lungs and I have an infection in the lining of my lungs, they gave me a work excuse to be off work because they didn’t want me breathing in cold air to try and help heal them. But they still fired me this morning over the phone. Is there anything I can do?

Asked on January 29, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can't be fired for simply having a medical condition. I you feel this was the case, contact thw federal EEOC or state civil or equal rights agency. But medical condition or not (and regardless of a doctor's note--the doctor is not an executive of the employer and has no authority over it), you can be fired for:
1) Issues unrelated to the medical conditions or you absences, like poor performance, insubordination, violating company policy (including sick leave and/call out policy), etc.
2) Absenteeism, if you missed more work than you had PTO (like sick days) to cover and also either did not use or were not eligible for FMLA leave (or your company was too small--less than 50 emloyees--to be covered); the law does not make employers retain employees with excessive or improper absences. (Note: you can find the rules for FMLA at the U.S. Dept. Of Labor website.)
 


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