Was I wrongfully terminated?

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Was I wrongfully terminated?

I was recently terminated from my job after I
was dealing with health issues. I had called in
sick for about 3 weeks and I had told them I
was seeking medical attention when Im reality
I was dealing with it own my own. As I turns out
I was diagnosed with depression but didnt
know how to handle it and come forth about it
and when I finally came forth about it I was let
go. Do I have a case here?

Asked on March 1, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Based on what you write, you may not have a case. Simply "dealing with health issues:" does NOT let you miss work. You can only miss work if:
1) You had and used paid time off or PTO (sick or vacation days) you earned.
2) You were able to and did use Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, which means a) that your employer has at least 50 employees who work within a 75-mile radius; b) you had worked there at least a year; c) you had worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months; and d) you took the time off for (with purpose of recovering from or seeking treatment for) a known and diagnosed condition, and not just because you were not feeling well or up to work. You write that you were not in fact seeking medical attention at the time, and it appears (if we understand what you wrote) that you may not have even had a diagnosis when you first took time off, and so you may not meet this criteria even if you meet the other ones.
So if you did not cover the absence with PTO and were eligible for FMLA, you could be terminated.
Furthermore, you may be terminated for lying to your employer about why you needed time off, even if otherwise entitled to it: saying you needed the time for medical treatement when you were not seeking treatment but were just "dealing with it on my own" is lying about why you needed the time, and could be grounds for termination.


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