The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) extends a variety of protections and rights to many employees, salaried
or hourly. It can grant a total of 12 months of unpaid leave after an
employee or a close family member suffers a serious health condition or
injury, or to care for a newborn. The concept behind the FMLA is allowing
someone to take care of personal medical situations without having to
fear that they will have no job to come back to once they are ready to
return to work.
The FMLA is not all-encompassing, though. It is possible that an employee
can be terminated while on approved medical leave.
You can be terminated while on FMLA-provided medical leave due to:
Regular termination circumstances: Being placed on medical leave doesn’t grant you a new level of immunity
from situations that would have regularly led to your termination. For
example, misconduct that affects the workplace or direct insubordination
can get you fired right away, whether you were on the job or on medical
leave. If your company needs to downsize and lays of a percentage of employees,
being on medical leave does not make you exempt from selection. Pay close
attention to the reasoning your employer uses when choosing to terminate
you while you are on medical leave, as any sign of
discrimination for being on leave violates your FMLA rights…
Illegal firing: …which brings the discussion to the second reason you could be terminated
on medical leave: prohibited or illegal termination. Any employer can
fire any employee at any time and for any reason –
but they must be ready for the legal backlash of any termination that is illegal,
unjustified, or discriminatory. If you are told that you have been fired
for being on medical or family leave, don’t claim that it is illegal
and go back to your workplace expecting to be able to just pick up where
you left off like nothing happened. Instead, get ready to create a legal
claim in response.
Buckley Beal LLP and our team of highly-experienced employment law attorneys
in Atlanta, Georgia can help you stand up for your rights after you are
terminated following suspicious circumstances. Call
404.471.3725 to speak with our staff and request an
initial consultation to begin your case in pursuit of compensation.