If I work at a hotel and I was just fired for being out sick with the flu, legally is there anything that I can do?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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If I work at a hotel and I was just fired for being out sick with the flu, legally is there anything that I can do?

I had a doctor’s note and a doctor’s order saying that I was not allowed to return to work for 4 days due to illness.

Asked on September 27, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, West Virginia


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, probably not. That is unless your treatment constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination or retaliation. Also, your firing must not violate the terms of an employment contract, union agreement or company policy.
It is a common misconception that a doctor's note means that an employee can get off of work with no consequences, howevthat simply isn't the case. Therefore, unless your illness qualified for FMLA and the flu does not and you qualified to otherwise use FMLA, you had no protection from termination for being out sick. While it's true that many employers accept a note from a doctor that an employee was legitimately sick, they are not legally required to and may discharge you for being absent even with a doctor's note.  

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