You’ve just experienced an unexpected injury, and you are required to remain at the hospital until further notice – should you be worried about getting fired? Our California employment law attorneys explain whether employers have the right to fire workers if they call in sick or are hospitalized.
Can My Employer Fire Me for Being Sick?
California is an at-will state, meaning that your employer can terminate your employment with or without any reason that does not go against state or federal law. You can determine if your employment agreement is “at-will” by looking at your employment contract.
However, there are some exceptions to when employers can and cannot be fired. Your employer cannot fire you for being hospitalized. You are protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These laws protect workers by giving them paid sick leave if they or their family members suffer an illness that prevents them from attending work.
How Long Can I Get Leave of Absence?
Qualifying employees are allowed to take up to 12 weeks per year of paid or unpaid leave for specific medical reasons. The California Family Rights Act also provides leave protection to pregnant workers, new parents, military families, and domestic violence victims.
To qualify for FMLA, an employee must be working for the employer for at least a year. Their FMLA protection will start exactly a year after their employment start date. The employee must also have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 month period before the leave is effective. In addition, the employer must have at least 50 or more employees.
What If My Employer Fired Me?
If you qualify for FMLA and your employer fired you while being hospitalized, you can file a claim against your employer. Filing a claim will help you recover the loss you incurred after being fired. An experienced employment law attorney can develop a strong case on your behalf to help you hold your employer accountable.
If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, contact our California employment law attorneys today at (888) 796-4010 to schedule a case review!