Is it legal for a company to fire you if you had an illness?

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Is it legal for a company to fire you if you had an illness?

I have proof from my doctor and I had an excuse. The company fired me for being late 3 minutes but I called in previous to that and had an excuse from my physician. I was already on FMLA previous to that and my time would have been back on that following Monday. It was the Wednesday previous they fired me before I could get my time back. I was there for years and never had an issue until this with attendance. This situation has caused me to be severely depressed and have high anxiety.

Asked on April 27, 2014 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal if you were not using or eligible to use FMLA leave at that time (which it seems like you were not) and if you did not have an employment contract protecting your employment and/or  limiting the grounds for firing you. Without a contract, you are an employee at will and may be fired at any time for  any reason, unless protected by, for example, FMLA law; and a doctor's note has no legal authority over your employer.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country it is illegal for an employer to terminate an employee for a legitimate illness. Under the Americans With Disabilities Act you may have further protection. Based upon what you have written, I suggest that you consult with a labor law attorney in your community to assist you. One can be found on attorneypages.com.


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