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What to Do If You’re Fired While on Medical Leave in Kansas City

Employment Law / March 8, 2022

When you experience different life changes, it’s no surprise that it can be very stressful to maintain a job and process new events. For example, the birth of a child, caring for an ill family member, and other life events can seriously impact a family and individual from maintaining a stable job. Likewise, if you are injured or ill, you may qualify under the Family Medical Leave Act to be allowed up to twelve weeks of unpaid job leave.

This helps plenty of employees who may feel their job is secure in the meantime, yet some encounter job terminations while on medical leave and are left without a position to return to. If you have been fired while on medical leave in Kansas City, a skilled attorney at Hollis Law Firm can evaluate your case and help you understand your rights.

What Is the Family Medical Leave Act?

The US enacted the Family Medical Leave Act in 1993 to help qualified employees maintain their position in a workplace while taking reasonable unpaid leave for a significant period to process applicable life changes and time needed for recovery. Eligible employees receive 12 weeks of job security while they or a family member seek medical treatment and recover from an illness.

What Is the Difference between Sick Leave and FMLA?

Sick leave is typically paid leave for employees who become ill and have the benefits with a job to use the sick time they are permitted to use. Sick leave is generally temporary, for example, recovering from the common cold over a few days, while FMLA applies to severe illnesses such as cancer and long term absence.

What Is Short Term-Disability?

Unlike paid sick leave and FMLA, short-term disability is another form of leave where an employee has approved time away from work due to their medical condition. This can be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

The FMLA is a federal act that applies to most employers. At the same time, sick leave and short-term disability are based on benefits and may influence an employer’s policies or decisions. FMLA implemented the ability to offer employees a guarantee to return to work, while short-term disability and sick leave benefits may not hold employers accountable for following specific mandates.

Can an Employer Terminate Your Job during Your FMLA Leave?

Medical leave rights are protected under FMLA. Eligible employees are entitled to up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave without the risk of losing their job because of taking leave. If you have found yourself in a situation where your employer has terminated your employment due to medical leave, contacting a skilled employment attorney can help you evaluate your case.

While employees are permitted to take a leave of absence under FMLA, an employer may still choose to terminate your employment due to a reasonable cause unrelated to your medical leave.

FMLA does not protect employees from termination due to:

  • Company downsizing or restructuring
  • Poor employee performance in a job
  • An employee engaging in unlawful or illegal activities while on leave

It is unlawful for an employer to terminate an employee for exercising their rights under the FMLA, and an offending employer may be subject to damages and penalties in a court of law. A skilled lawyer can help you determine your rights under the FMLA and whether your employer has violated them.

Steps to Take If You Have Been Fired during an FMLA Leave

When an employer decides to terminate an employee, it is illegal to consider medical leave as a deciding factor. Employment law attorneys are skilled in representing employees that have been unlawfully discriminated against and terminated from employment.

Here are some steps to take after an unlawful termination:

  • File a wrongful termination complaint
  • Contact a skilled employment attorney
  • Seek to reconcile the wrongful termination with legal action

Losing a job is a frightening and life-changing experience, especially while you or a loved one is recovering from an unexpected illness. If you are wrongfully terminated from a position while on medical leave, an employment discrimination attorney can help you resolve your employer’s wrongdoing by taking legal action.

Call a Skilled Employment Lawyer at Hollis Law Firm for Legal Advice in Kansas City

At Hollis Law Firm, our employment lawyer can help you understand your rights while taking approved medical leave. If your employer has terminated your employment because you are on medical leave, this is unlawful, and our employment lawyer can provide the experienced legal support you need. You may fill out a contact form or call our law office at (800) 701-3672 to schedule a free consultation.