If you are out on STD can you be terminated?

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If you are out on STD can you be terminated?

I worked as a temp for a year and then was hired permanently on 01/18/11. I got very sick the next month and presented documentation that I was found to have Diabetes Type 2; they were trying to control my sugar since it was at 460. I called my manager everyday and even though she did not sound happy she was thankful I called to let her know how my health was. The doctor found more health issues but the more serious was Diabetes. When I returned my manager went over the paid time off policy for which 1 is not allowed to go over 48 hours. I used 42 and the rest was paid as STD. However, I was still was terminated. Is that legal?

Asked on March 22, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The key issue is WHY were you terminated. While you cannot generally be terminated for being disabled, or for using some protected leave (e.g. FMLA leave) or other protected right, being out on disability does not protect you from termination for unrelated reasons. Thus, someone on STD could lose their job due to a restructuring or downsizing; or because of performance issues or violations of company policy. What sometimes happens though is that real reason for termination is using leave or being disabled and the stated reason is just a pretext or excuse. If you think that is the case, then you should consult with an employment attorney who can evaluate your situation in detail. Good luck.


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