Is it Legal Getting Fired While on Medical Leave?

It all depends on the reasons why you had to take time off. California is an at-will state, therefore, employers can fire anyone for any reason at any time. However, some absences are protected by certain laws. Your employer can’t fire you under such legal protection. Hire a Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney to find out more about your rights as a California employee.


The Family and Medical Leave Act allows workers to take up to a year of time off for some specific reasons:

  • Child care
  • Incapacitation
  • Family care
  • Military duty and injuries caused by military service

It’s important to notice that workers who take time off to care of sick family need to prove it’s a serious condition such as:

  • Hospice
  • Inpatient care
  • Incapacitation
  • Pregnancy and prenatal care
  • Incapacity due to a condition without a cure
  • Ongoing treatment such as surgery or any other condition that requires an absence of more than 3 days

FMLA only protects employees who work in companies with over 50 employees. It’s illegal to fire workers taking leave for the above-described reasons. Once the leave ends, employees can go back to work. There are only some exceptions in such cases. If you have been fired due to such circumstances, a Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney will be able to file a wrongful termination claim on your behalf.


The Americans with Disabilities Act is also a federal law that protects workers from being terminated for taking time off due to any physical or mental disabilities that limit important activities. It protects disabled workers discriminated against because of such disabilities. It also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees. Although ADA doesn’t protect all workers in such scenarios, there are some specific circumstances that may qualify.

Workers Comp

In California, all employers are required to provide workers comp benefits. Workers’ compensation can cover medical costs and wage loss to employees who suffered injuries at work. Employees should not be discriminated against or fired for filing a worker’s comp claim. When an employee is injured and he or she is not provided with adequate compensation, California’s Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust will try to collect the money on their behalf.

Sick Leave

California is among the states that require employers to provide sick leave. Workers who accrue sick days should be paid under such policies. Employers can’t retaliate against workers for taking sick leave.

Find The Help You Need

As mentioned above, there are many laws that exist to protect you. It’s illegal to fire you or threaten you under such circumstances. If your rights are not respected at work, make sure you hire a Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Lawyer to study your claims and determine the best course of action. We want to hear from you and help you obtain the compensation you and your loved ones are entitled to receive. The first consultation is free of charge.

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