Can You Be Fired from a Job While on Leave With a Disability in California?
At the Leichter Law Firm, APC, the Los Angeles disability discrimination attorney, Aryeh Leichter, knows that California employment laws and employee protections are much more progressive than other states, which are designed to protect all workers.
These workplace protections also extend to employees with disabilities.
Both federal and state laws protect workers from disability discrimination, which includes protection from wrongful termination for reasons related to the employee’s disability.
However, California employers do have the right to terminate employees for other reasons. Receiving temporary or permanent disability benefits does not protect you from job termination in California.
Is My Job Protected While I Am on Disability Medical Leave in California?
Both the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the state California Family Rights Act (CFRA) provide workers, including those with disabilities, with protection for unpaid medical leave for various circumstances and emergencies.
If the employee and employer meet certain criteria, the employer is not permitted to fire the employee while he or she is on disability leave. The employee must be provided with a leave of absence or other reasonable accommodations unless there would be an undue hardship to the employer.
Under FMLA, an employee must be restored to the same job or an equivalent job upon returning from leave that is virtually identical in terms of pay, benefits, and other conditions of employment.
Under the CFRA, an employee’s job is also protected while they are on medical leave. They cannot be demoted, their pay cannot be reduced, and if their job is no longer available, an equivalent job should be made available.
If you are a disabled employee in California who is on protected leave, either under FMLA or CFRA, your employer cannot, by law, take an adverse employment action against you, which includes terminating your employment.
What If My Employer Says My Termination is Unrelated to My Disability?
Most California employers are legally aware that they cannot fire a disabled employee for having a disability that requires protected medical leave. This means they will provide a non-discriminatory reason for the termination. If you believe your termination was motivated, even in part, by your disability, you may have a legal claim for both discrimination and wrongful termination.
Contact the Leichter Law Firm, APC Disability Discrimination Attorney in Los Angeles, California
Contact Aryeh Leichter, the Leichter Law Firm, APC founder and Los Angeles County, California employment law attorney in today to discuss the legal remedies that may be available for your unique workplace circumstances today, starting with a free consultation by calling 818-915-6624 or contacting the firm online.