In South Carolina can you be fired while recouping from a hysterectomy?

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In South Carolina can you be fired while recouping from a hysterectomy?

My daughter was fired today. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in
March and because it was a hormone driven cancer a total hysterectomy
was needed. She had the operation 12 days ago. The owner has known
all this and he fired her. Because South Carolina is ‘at will’ are
his actions legal?

Asked on October 29, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, if she missed work due to the operation or recovery, she may be fired unless--
1) She had earned and used paid time off, like sick or vacation days, to cover the absence; and/or 
2) The company was covered by (at least 50 employees within a 50-mile radius), she was eligible for (had worked thwre at least a year; had worked 1,250 or more hours in the past 12 months), and she properly requested unpaid FMLA leave.
Except as per the above, there is no right to be out cor medical reasons, and an employee who is out for medical reasons may be fired for absenteeism.


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