Can I Be Fired While On Medical Leave In California?
It is not uncommon for employees to take time off work because of a medical condition, injury, illness, or disability. In California, employees can seek medical leave under both:
- The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) — a federal law; and
- The California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
Many employees who have a medical condition that prevents them from working at full capacity wonder, “Can my employer fire me while on medical leave?”
The answer is, “It depends.” However, in many cases, an employer terminating an employee’s employment while on medical leave can be considered wrongful termination.
If you have been fired while on medical leave in California, do not hesitate to contact our Los Angeles wrongful termination attorneys at Obagi Law Group P.C. to discuss your options.
Can You Be Fired While on Medical Leave?
The legality of the firing of an employee on medical leave depends on the reason for termination. Under both federal and state law, employers are prohibited from terminating employees simply because the employee is on medical leave.
When determining if you can or cannot sue your employer for firing you while on medical leave, your attorney will review the reason for termination as well as the timing.
Your employer cannot terminate you because of your medical condition or because you are on medical leave. However, if the employer’s reason for terminating your employment has nothing to do with the injury, illness, or medical leave, the firing may be legal.
What Are the Legitimate Reasons for Termination While on Medical Leave?
You may not be able to sue your employer for wrongful termination just because you were fired while on medical leave. There are legitimate reasons for termination if you are on medical leave.
Some of the legitimate reasons for termination while on medical leave include:
- The worker had performance issues before the medical leave
- There is no longer a need for the terminated employee’s position
- The worker was fired as part of a large layoff or plant closing
- The employee’s return to their job constitutes a substantial financial burden to the employer
However, you may still be able to file a wrongful termination lawsuit against your employer even if they claim that they have a legitimate reason for firing you while on medical leave. That is why it is essential to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to determine if your firing constitutes wrongful termination.
Speak with a Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Attorney
To sum up, your employer can fire you while on medical leave as long as the reason for the firing is not based solely on your medical condition and is not retaliation for taking a medical leave.
Each situation is different, which is why it is advisable to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to determine if you can sue your employer for wrongful termination for firing you while on medical leave.
If you were fired while on medical leave, do not hesitate to speak with an attorney as soon as possible California imposes a time limit on wrongful termination claims. Our lawyers at Obagi Law Group P.C. will help you protect your rights and pursue the compensation to which you are entitled. Call 424-284-2401 to discuss your situation.