Can your employer fire you while on FMLA leave after surgery?

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2022 | Termination |

Before your upcoming medical procedure, you asked your boss if you could take FMLA leave to recover. You got approval, but now that you feel ready to return to the office, you learned you do not have a position to return to.

Chron explains how FMLA leave and job security work for employees recovering from medical conditions. Depending on your circumstances, you could have a wrongful termination case.

FMLA coverage

Companies with at least 50 workers within 75 miles who work at least 20 weeks out of the year qualify for FMLA leave. This may not apply to businesses open only during specific seasons, such as snow removal companies, vacation destination businesses and tax preparation services.

Eligible workers

As long as you have at least a year of experience with the company and clocked in at least 1,250 hours, you could qualify for FMLA leave. Before taking leave, check with your physician to ensure your medical condition meets current FMLA requirements. Recovering from surgery likely qualifies as a serious medical condition. Even then, ask your doctor to complete a Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition — Wage and Hour Division Form WHD-380-E for you to submit to your employer’s benefits administrator.

Returning to work

While you recuperate, your employer has the right to terminate your position or hire someone to fulfill your duties while you heal. Even then, your company must re-hire you in an equal role, with similar duties and pay.

Personal leave

If your company need not offer FMLA leave or if you do not qualify for leave but take time off to heal from surgery, your company has the right to terminate your job.

You deserve to tend to a medical condition without fear of losing your job. Educate yourself on your rights, so you do not become a victim of wrongful termination.