Can a Job Fire You While on Medical Leave?
In most cases, the answer is no. An employer cannot fire an employee who is away from work on medical leave, unless the employer can prove that the employee would have been fired even if they were not on medical leave. That being said, there are other issues to consider when it comes to medical leave.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides eligible employees in the United States with job-protected unpaid leave for up to 12 weeks for certain qualifying circumstances. These qualifying circumstances include a serious health condition, care for a family member with a serious health condition, and the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child.
Medical Leave and Job Security
Employers covered by the FMLA cannot use an employee’s medical leave as a reason to fire that employee. That being said, the employer can still fire the employee while they are on medical leave if they can prove that the employee would have been fired even if they weren’t on medical leave.
When an employee takes medical leave, it is important to consider the potential impact of the leave on their job. It is possible that the employee’s absence could hurt the company, affect the employer’s business relationships, or impede the employer’s ability to complete tasks in a timely manner. When these things occur, the employer may be able to terminate the employee’s employment.
Protect Your Job
When taking medical leave, it can be helpful to discuss with your employer how your absence will be managed. Employers should also be aware of how their absence could affect the company and how their job can be protected during this time.
In most cases, an employer cannot fire an employee who is on medical leave. However, employees should be aware that if the employer can prove that the employee would have been fired even if they were not on medical leave, they may be legally allowed to do so. To protect their job, employees should discuss their medical leave with their employer and understand the impact of their absence on their job.