If I need to be hospitalized for an extended stay, and I have only started my job a week ago, can I be fired from it or am I protected if I have the medical paperwork?

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If I need to be hospitalized for an extended stay, and I have only started my job a week ago, can I be fired from it or am I protected if I have the medical paperwork?

Georgia, USA
Does the ADA protect my employment at this stage?

Asked on January 20, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The ADA does not protect your employment from termination due to missing work: it requires a "reasonable accommodation" for employee disability/medical conditions, but allowing an employee to miss work is not considered a reasonable accommodation. (A reasonable accommodation is a not-too-distruptive change in rules/proceedures, or a not-too-expensive piece of furniture or equipment, which lets the employee do his/her job: by definition, if you are not at work, you are not doing your job.)
You may only miss work for medical reasons if one or more of the following occur:
1) You have employer permission (preferably in writing);
2) You have and use paid time off (PTO) for the absence--but that's probably ot the case after a week of employment.
3) You are eligible for FMLA leave--but you have to work there a year first.
Based on what you write, while your employer may choose to retain you, they could also legally choose to terminate you if they wish.


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