Being in an accident and acquiring a long-term or short-term disability can force you to leave work. Thankfully, there are certain laws that protect you from getting fired during such times. However, these laws can become complicated as employers can usually fire anyone at their will.
If you have become disabled, you might be covered under some laws. However, the company can still fire you for other reasons, such as slow business or bad performance reviews. Therefore, before filing a claim, you must gather evidence of your wrongful terminal with the help of a Morristown employment attorney.
Job protection under FMLA
The term FMLA stands for Family And Medical Leave Act. If you are covered under this law, you can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for physical or emotional disability or for taking care of an ill family member. Though you would not be getting paid, you would also not have to worry about getting fired and losing your source of income.
However, not all workplaces have FMLA. FMLA only applies to companies and businesses with at least 50 employees who are located within 75 miles of each other. Additionally, the workers must have worked at least for one year in the company and have a working record of 1,250 hours.
If these factors apply to you, your employer cannot legally terminate you while you are on your disability leave. They are obligated by the law to give you your position back in the company. In case they fail to do so, you can hire an attorney and file a lawsuit against your employer or the whole business.
What if I have exhausted my FMLA leave?
After you have exhausted your FMLA leave of 12 weeks, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) comes into play to protect your rights. According to the ADA, you can request your employer to accommodate you to make it easier for you to work in the company. For example, if you have suffered hearing impairment, they must provide you with suitable hearing devices.
Before firing you, your employer has to work their best to accommodate you to do the job. They must listen to your needs. You might have to make compromises, but your employer is obligated to make reasonable arrangements.
In case your disability cannot be accommodated, or you and your employer cannot come up with a compromise, they may have the right to fire you. Basically, if your employer had put their best efforts to accommodate you but failed, they might have no option but to terminate you.