Your Right to Medical Leave
An employee dealing with a significant injury or illness may require a medical leave of absence so he or she may recover enough to return to work. The most common type of leave an employee may use is a leave under the Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") . One of the FMLA's protection is that it provides eligible employees up to 12 weeks of medical leave a year when the employee is unable to work because of a "serious health condition." It is a violation of the FMLA to terminate an employee because he or she exercised her rights under the FMLA.
If you have been terminated after requesting or taking an FMLA leave you should contact our experienced employment law team immediately
You also should be aware that you may have rights to leave beyond the FMLA. Notably, many employees are not FMLA eligible for a variety of reasons including: the size of the employer, the limited amount of time the employee has worked for the employer, or the employee's needed leave time extends beyond the twelve weeks the FMLA provides. As such, some employers will terminate employees who are not FMLA eligible or have already fully exhausted their FMLA leave when those employees request leave or need additional leave beyond the FMLA's twelve weeks.
However, what is many times overlooked by both employers and employees is that a worker may have rights to a medical leave beyond those afforded by the FMLA. When an employee is unable to perform his or her duties due to the disablity, a medical leave for a finite period of time may represent a reasonable accommodation, if the leave would enable the employee to perform his essential job function in the near future.
What qualifies you for medical leave?
Specifically, the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") requires that an employer provide a reasonable accomodation to a qualified individual with a disablity. A reasonable accommodation is assistance or modification to a position or place of emplpyment that enables an employee to do his or her job despite the disablity. The ADA requires employers to provide reasnoab;e accomodations to qualified employees with disabilities, unless doing so would pose an undue hardship to the employer.
What constitutes a disability under the ADA, what is a reasonab;e accommodation under the ADA, and what is an "undue burden" on an employer are all issues that are determined on a fact by fact basis and no two cases are alike. Accordingly, an experienced attorney is necessary to evaluate these cases and help you enforce your legal rights under the ADA. If you have been terminated after a medical leave or been denied a reasonab;e accommodation such as medical leave, or if you believe you were fired because of your disability you should contact our employment law team today.
Contact our experienced attorneys today
Before you can file in court under the ADA, a Charge of Discrimination must be filed with the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC). Our attorneys can represent you at EEOC or PHRC for disability discrimmination. However, the timeline to file such a charge is extremely short. That's why we recommend you contact one of our attorneys as soon as possible-you don't want to risk losing your rights forever because of a missed deadline. We are available 24/7 by calling us at 412-394-1000, by filling out the form on this page, or by starting a chat.