What to do if my husband injured his finger and had a partial amputation of this finger but was then fired?

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What to do if my husband injured his finger and had a partial amputation of this finger but was then fired?

His doctor had him off for 2 weeks. The day after his return his employer fired him because he missed to much work. Is this legal??

Asked on April 19, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your husband was injured at work, it may be illegal to fire him for misssing work due his injury (it depends on the exact circumstances); in addition, there is a good chance your husband either is entitled to worker's compensation or could possibly sue his employer. If your husband was injured at work, he should consult with an attorney right away.

If your husband was not injured at work, however, then it may be he could be terminated for missing work. The law does not, as a general matter, require that employees be given medical leave, or require employers to retain and employ staff who miss work. In the absence of either a contract giving the employee leave or a specific law to the contrary, an employer may fire someone for missing work due to an injury.

Wisconsin has its own Family and Medical Leave Act, and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act applies everywhere. Those two laws do guaranty medical leave in some cases, but not all employees are covered--in fact, most are not. To be covered, an employee must work for an employer that has at least 50 employees; there are some other criteria as well.

If your husband's employer has at least 50 employees, he should speak with an employment law attorney about whether he was fired in violation of either the WI or the federal law. But if the employer has less than 50 employees, they could fire him for missing work for medical reasons if he was injured not at work.


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