Can You Be Fired on Leave of Absence? (with “Leave of Absence” as the focus keyword)

Can I Be Fired While on Leave of Absence?

While being on a leave of absence from work offers valuable time for personal matters such as medical treatment or caring for a family member, it does not guarantee job security. An employer may terminate an employee on leave if that employee engaged in misconduct or if the employer needed to lay employees off for business reasons and that employee would have lost their job regardless.

However, if an employee is terminated for taking a leave of absence, and such termination does not fall under one of the peviously stated grounds, then the employer may be held liable for discrimination, retaliation, or other legal claims.

Are you worried about being fired while on a leave of absence? Check out this Youtube video titled “Taking a Leave of Absence?” for helpful advice and information!

What You Need to Know About Leave of Absence

Defining Leave of Absence

A leave of absence is when an employee is given permission to take time off from work for an extended period of time. This time can either be paid, unpaid, mandatory or voluntary depending on the circumstances of the request.

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Employees may take a leave of absence for various reasons which can include family medical emergencies, military service, jury duty, personal reasons, among others. The different types of leaves available to employees include paid vacation leave, sick leave, personal leave, family and medical leave, and bereavement leave.

Eligibility Requirements for Leave of Absence

In order to take a leave of absence, employees must typically meet certain eligibility requirements. This may include working for the company for a certain period of time, being a full-time employee, and providing sufficient notice to your employer.

Additional eligibility requirements may exist for specific types of leave, such as medical or disability-related leave. Employers generally have the right to request medical certification or other documentation to verify an employee’s need for a protected leave of absence.

Your Rights and Protections Under Different Laws and Policies

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides job protection for eligible employees who need to take leave for qualifying reasons, including to care for a family member with a serious health condition or to recover from a serious health condition themselves. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides similar protections for employees with disabilities who need to take leave as a reasonable accommodation for their disability.

Many states also have their own leave of absence laws that afford additional protections to employees. Employees who believe their employer has violated their rights or discriminated against them for taking a leave of absence may be entitled to file a complaint and pursue legal action under the applicable law or policy.

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Can You Be Fired on Leave of Absence?

Many employees on leave of absence worry about being fired while on leave. In this article, we will discuss the circumstances under which an employer can terminate an employee on leave of absence and what legal options are available for employees who feel wrongfully terminated.

Grounds for Termination While on Leave of Absence

An employer has the right to terminate an employee on leave of absence if the employee engages in misconduct, violates company policies, or if there is a reduction in the workforce that would result in the employee’s termination regardless of their leave status.

For example, if an employee on medical leave is caught violating company policies, they can be subject to termination. Similarly, if a company downsizes and the employee’s position is eliminated, they can be terminated.

Wrongful Termination and Your Legal Options

If an employee feels that they have been wrongfully terminated while on leave of absence, they can explore their legal options. Wrongful termination can occur if an employer violates anti-discrimination laws, anti-retaliation laws, or breaches an employment contract.

If an employee feels that they have been wrongfully terminated, they should contact an experienced employment lawyer immediately. An employment lawyer can assess the situation and determine the best course of action.

It’s important to note that most leave of absence laws contain anti-retaliation provisions. These provisions prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who have requested or taken permitted leave.

If an employee experiences retaliation in the form of wrongful termination for taking leave, they can pursue legal action.

Conclusion

Employers have the right to terminate employees on leave of absence under certain circumstances, such as misconduct or reduction in force. However, employers must also adhere to anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation laws.

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Employees who feel wrongfully terminated while on leave should seek the advice of an experienced employment lawyer to explore their options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I be fired for taking a personal leave of absence?

Under certain circumstances, an employer can terminate an employee on personal leave. However, the reasons for termination must be unrelated to the leave itself. For example, if an employer discovers that an employee on personal leave has engaged in misconduct, they may be terminated.

Can I be terminated while on FMLA leave?

While FMLA leave is job-protected, it does not protect employees from termination under all circumstances. Employers may terminate an employee on FMLA leave if the reason for termination is unrelated to the leave itself (such as misconduct or a reduction in force).

Do I have any recourse if I am wrongfully terminated while on leave of absence?

If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated while on leave of absence, you have legal options available to you. You may wish to consult with an employment lawyer to determine the best course of action.

Can an employer terminate an employee while on a leave of absence?

In general, an employer can terminate an employee on leave of absence if the employee engaged in misconduct or if the employer needed to lay employees off for business reasons and the employee would have lost their job regardless. However, laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and state Sick and Safe Leave Laws may provide protections for employees taking leave for certain reasons.

These laws often contain anti-retaliation provisions, which can prohibit an employer from terminating an employee for taking permitted leave.

What is a leave of absence?

A leave of absence refers to a period of time during which an employee is given permission to take time off from work for an extended period of time. The leave may be paid or unpaid, and can be mandatory or voluntary, depending on the circumstances of the request.

Whether an employee is entitled to take a leave of absence and the terms of the leave may be governed by federal or state laws, company policies, union collective bargaining agreements, or employment contracts.

References

Lora Turner
 

Lora Turner is an Experienced HR professional worked with the large organizations and holding 15 years of experience dealing with employee benefits. She holds expertise in simplifying the leave for the employee benefits. Contact us at: [email protected]