What to do if my husband was fired for getting hurt on the job?

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What to do if my husband was fired for getting hurt on the job?

My husband had a seizure 6 months ago at work and an ambulance took him to hospital. He was cleaning something with strong smell and chemicals. He has been seeing a doctor since then and has not been release to go back to work. His company called him on 18th June when it passed 6 months and fired him for not returning to work. Advising him that his short term disability has ended. Now we are without insurance for us and 2 kids and he has no job. He has been with the company for over a 11 years. The brain test did not find anything on his brain its seems that is was because of what he was doing at work. Can his company do that?

Asked on July 1, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If an employee misses work, even if due to a job-related injury, after he has used up any disability leave, any sick days or other PTO, and any Family and Medical Leave Act leave (if both he and the company were covered and he took such leave), then he may be fired: the law does not require employers to retain workers who do  not or cannot work, once they have used up their various leave-related benefits.

However, if your husband was injured by something at work, he may be entitled to Worker's Compensation benefits and/or may be able to sue the employer, such as for lost wages or medical costs. Your husband should consult with an attorney with experience in this area to explore his possible recourse.


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