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Can I Be Fired for Taking a Sick Day?

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You may wake up one morning with the intention of getting ready for work when you realize that you do not feel like yourself. If you do decide to call in sick to work, you may wonder whether it may lead to your termination. In order to keep your job, you must show up for work, but employees cannot help getting sick. Whether you can be fired for taking a sick day depends on many things, including how long you have been employed at your company, whether you are an at-will employee, and how sick you are.

At-Will Employment

If you are an at-will employee, your employer may fire you at any time with or without an explanation. This means that an employer is free to fire you because you called out sick. Being an at-will employee also means you may quit your job at any time without an explanation. One way to avoid being fired for calling out sick is to only call out when you are genuinely ill.

When You Cannot Be Fired for Calling out Sick

If you are a person with a disability and your disability is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you may be protected against being fired for calling out of work. The ADA also prohibits employers from discriminating against employees with both mental and physical disabilities. However, there is an exception to this. If you are employed by an employer who has fewer than 15 employees, you are not covered by the ADA.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take off up to 12 weeks in a 12-month period for reasons that include caring for a newborn, employees that are dealing with a serious medical illness, or if the employee needs to care for a family member dealing with a serious medical illness. Certain states have sick leave laws that require your employer to provide you with paid sick leave. If you need to take a sick day and have accrued paid sick leave days, you may take time off without any negative repercussions.

Time Off for a Work-Related Injury

Most employers provide Workers’ Compensation if you are injured on the job and need to take time off. Workers’ Compensation provides reimbursement for medical bills and partial compensation for any injuries or illnesses that keep you from working. You must prove that your injury is work-related, which can be difficult.

Cherry Hill Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Represent Clients in Wrongful Termination Claims

If you were recently fired after taking a sick day, contact a Cherry Hill employment lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Our experienced lawyers will help you through the process of filing a wrongful termination claim and will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 215-569-1999. Located in Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Marlton, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel.

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