If my eyes were injured due to contact use and I was legally blind, do I have the right to get my job back?

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If my eyes were injured due to contact use and I was legally blind, do I have the right to get my job back?

My eye doctor gave me steroids for my eyes and said it would be awhile before I could wear glasses. I told my employer this and he said that he would “Hold my job” until my eyes got better. I asked him if there was any other work that I could do and he said no and to just work on getting better. Months later, I was able to finally get glasses, so I went to my employer and they said that I had been fired and that my supervisor had no right to tell me that they would hold my job. Can they do this? And, if not, can I sue?

Asked on February 16, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you could not work and did not either 1) have and use sufficient paid time off to cover the absence and/or 2) be eligible for (and your company large enough--50 or more employees--to be covered by) FMLA leave and use it, then yes, you could be terminated. The law does not require employers to retain employers who cannot work and do not have or use PTO or FMLA leave to cover the absence.


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