Is firing someone due to an illness illegal?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2023 | Termination |

State and federal laws help to protect you from discriminatory practices by an employer. But even some situations could still lead to termination due to a protected issue.

For example, there are situations where it is legal to fire someone because they have an illness. On the other hand, there are also situations where that is illegal.

Legal termination

If you miss a lot of work due to illness and you fail to follow company policy for taking the time off of work, then your employer might have solid grounds for firing you. You would have to prove it was discriminatory, retaliatory or you did not violate company policy.

Illegal termination

Your employer cannot fire you for taking leave for illness under the Family and Medical Leave Act. You also have protection under disability laws. The key is to follow company policy. Be honest with your employer, and make sure you are not misusing the absence policies. You also should note what happens with other workers. If it seems your employer is only holding you accountable for time missed, then it could be a discrimination issue. Equal treatment of employees helps avoid that situation.

Delaware-specific rules

The wrongful termination laws in Delaware apply to employers with four or more employees. If you work for a small company that does not have four employees, you may not have as much protection under the law for wrongful termination.

Losing your job is stressful. If you are already dealing with an ongoing illness, it can be even more difficult. The key to avoiding a termination is to keep your employer informed and follow company policy.