One of the most common employment law inquiries I get from clients as a wrongful termination attorney is whether you can be fired while on disability or medical leave. When you’ve suffered an injury or illness that requires you to take time off work, the last thing you want to worry about is whether you’ll have a job when you get better. The answer to this question can be broken down into two parts.
In California, You Can Be Fired for at Any Time
By law in California, your employer cannot be forced to keep you as an employee if they don’t want to unless there are specific legal-bound circumstances, such as a labor union agreement or employment contract. When you are an at-will employee of a private business, you can be terminated or leave at any time.
Whether It’s Legal to Fire You Depends on Your Situation
The more important question is whether your employer can legally fire you while you’re on medical or disability leave, or whether you should hire a wrongful termination attorney in Riverside. The answer will depend on the circumstances of both your termination and your employment. The most significant factor in this situation is whether you were fired for a legitimate reason, or if there is sufficient evidence that your employer was making an excuse to fire you because of your medical condition or disability leave.
For example, in termination pattern A, your employer cuts out 10 percent of the company’s workforce, eliminating your position and several others. Some of the employees being laid off are on medical leave, but others are not. The employer’s reason for termination sounds legitimate, so without specific evidence that you were fired because of your disability, you don’t have a case for wrongful termination.
In pattern B, you have issued a negative performance review shortly after returning from disability leave, despite a long-term history of excellent work performance. Or maybe your employer tries to punish you for something minor that took place months before, accuses you of some made up infraction, or makes it known that he doesn’t believe your medical condition is real and is upset that you took time off. You’re soon terminated for an ambiguous, subjective reason like poor performance. In this case, it would be worth investigating the situation to build a wrongful termination case.
If you fall into the second set of circumstances, you should talk to a wrongful termination attorney in Riverside to help you evaluate the entire situation to determine whether you have enough evidence to win a case. Without ample proof, these claims can be a case of he said, she said, with little chance of compensation. Employers will always defend their actions with legitimate sounding arguments. That’s why fully evaluating the case before filing is imperative to make sure your case is strong enough.
If you believe you have been fired illegally, protect your rights and call the lawyers at Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers at 310-527-6994 for a free consultation. We’ll examine your case and help you fight back against unfair termination practices.
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