If my employer fires me because I ran out of FMLA, can I still collect unemployment?

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If my employer fires me because I ran out of FMLA, can I still collect unemployment?

All my absences at work for FMLA leave have been excused by my doctor in the form of a written note. My FMLA (intermittent) was approved for a year, however I have used the entire 12 weeks the government allows and now my employer is penalizing me when I need the time off for FMLA. I have a very good feeling I will be fired soon because of my absences, I just want to make sure that a circumstance like this will mean I am able to collect unemployment. I have called my local office and they told me that I would have to file a claim in order to find out or ask an attorney.

Asked on June 28, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are fired because you have taken unapproved absences--for example, you have used up all you FMLA leave and still miss work--then your employer could treat you as being fired "for cause": for excessive absenteeism. In that case, you would not be eligible for unemployment compensation. FMLA gives you 12 weeks per year; there is no legal obligation for employers to give you more time than that, and they may terminate you for cause if you miss work after using up FMLA leave.


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