If I was hurt at work and was off for about a month, is it illegal for them to threaten my job and force me back to work?

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If I was hurt at work and was off for about a month, is it illegal for them to threaten my job and force me back to work?

Asked on June 26, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

How were you off from work? If it was by using paid time off (e.g. sick days) you had earned, they cannot threaten your job for using them: those days were part of your compensation for working, so to threaten you for using then is to effectively illegally deprive you of part of your compensation. In this event, you could sue for wrongful termination if fired.
Or if the company is covered by the FMLA (at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius) and you are eligible for it (worked there at least a year; worked 1,250 hours in the last 12 months) and you used FMLA leave, it would be illegal to retaliate against you for using FMLA leave, and if employer does, you could contact the department of labor to file a complaint.
But if you did not use PTO or FMLA leave, you would have no right to miss work, even for medical reasons, and your employer may threaten your job and force you to return. The law does not make employers retain employees who miss work unless they did so using earned PTO or FMLA leave.


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