What can I do if my employer let me go while I was on medical leave?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do if my employer let me go while I was on medical leave?

He sent me a text message saying they were letting me go. With that they gave me 4 weeks pay and stated there wasn’t enough work to keep me even though we had just won 2 multi mullion dollars contracts for our office. I was in counseling due to severe stress and anxiety. I had been having issues with my boss for a year. He was telling other employees that I was not working and wasting time in the job. He never discussed this with me. I also contacted HR before I went out on leave to voice my concern but never received and response. Do I have a case?

Asked on December 29, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You *may* have a case: the issue is whether or not they can substantiate a non-discriminatory (i.e. not discriminating against an employee with a medical condition) or non-retaliatory (i.e. not retaliating against you for using medical leave) reason for the termation. If, despite winning the contracts, they can show that based on the amount of work, their cost structure, their margins, etc. they did not need your position, they could let you go--while an employee cannot terminate an employee for having a medical condition or using approved leave, that does not prevent them from terminating the employee for unrelated reasons. But if they can't substantiate a non-discriminatory or non-retaliatory reason, then based on what you write, you would seem to have a good claim or case against them. A good idea for you would be to speak with your state equal/civil rights agency: they can evauate the facts and see if you were improperly termnated.

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