If I was Sick and had to Take a Leave of Absence, is it Wrong for me to be Fired

No matter how healthy a person might be, sometimes it is necessary to take a leave of absence for medical reasons. Although you are entitled to some compensation due to the Family Medical Leave Act and you are protected by the California Family Rights Act, you will not receive your full paycheck when you take time off work for an illness. However, you may receive disability money as well as sick pay and vacation pay.


Even if your employer is understanding about your missing time from work, your absence is still hard on them. They undoubtedly must distribute the work you would normally do amongst your coworkers or hire a temporary worker to fulfill your duties. If they like the person who stood in for you better, or if they feel that your absence indicates you are not reliable, they may try to fire you. If they do, you can call the Rubin Law Firm for assistance.


Although California is an at-will state, there are still laws protecting people who have missed work due to no fault of their own. An employer cannot fire you for taking a medical leave of absence in the state of California. Any business knows this and if they want to fire you, they are certain to find an excuse for terminating you. They may say your position was eliminated or that they are getting rid of you due to job performance. They may have an argument for firing you if you take more than the time allowed by either act. They may also try to claim that your return may cause them economic injury. It helps to have a general overview of each of the acts protecting California employees.

Your Rights Under the FMLA 

Established in 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act applies to all workers who have been employed with a company for at least 12 months and who have worked at least 1250 hours during the year. The law applies to companies that employ at least 50 people.


The FMLA allows you to take up to 12 weeks for a serious illness or to care for a sick family member. In order to be FMLA qualified you must take a Medical certification form to your health care provider.


Your Rights Under the CFRA 

The California Family Rights Act was established in 2009. It also states that a worker can take up to 12 weeks of paid or unpaid leave over the course of a 12-month period. The employee will get to retain their health benefits while they are on leave. You can take time off under the CFRA if you are preparing for the birth of a child or taking care of a newborn. You may also take time off to place a child in foster care or adopted home. You may take the time to care for a parent, spouse, child who is seriously ill. If you or your spouse are transitioning from active duty you can also take time off. 

The act applies to anyone who must take time off of work for a serious illness, pregnancy, or to take care of an immediate family member who is sick. Unlike the FMLA, The CFRA recognizes domestic partners as family members. Being pregnant alone is not enough to get leave, but you may take up to 4 months for pregnancy-related issues.


If you have been wrongfully terminated and would like to sue, bear in mind that The Golden State has a two-year statute of limitations on such claims. You must file wrongful termination claims with the department of labor. If you choose to file a claim for violations of the California Family Rights Act, you will only have one year.


If you are fired, you may not be able to get your job back, but you can sue your ex-employer. A good attorney can get you compensation for a lost job, or money that you are owed from a health or family-related absence. 


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