Can A Job Fire You For Being Sick 2023/2024?

Written by Bella

One of the popular questions that employees ask often is, can a job fire you for being sick? The answer is not straightforward, and that is why you should take your time to read through this post.

Falling sick is quite inevitable for an employee because the body must get weak once in a while, and at that point, you will need to take care of yourself, thereby making you absent from work; you will need to let your employer know, and this is where taking sick leave comes in. 

In this post, you will find out if a job can fire you for being sick; you will also find out if a job will fire you for your child being ill, even with a doctor’s note. Come with us!

Can a job fire you for being sick from pregnancy? 

 If you are ill due to pregnancy, your doctor will ascertain that and let you know. Most employers will give you a few days off without the doctor’s note, while in other cases and more extended periods, you will need to provide a doctor’s note to confirm your sickness is related to pregnancy. 

It is illegal for a job to fire you for being sick during pregnancy. As a pregnant woman, you can reasonably be dismissed if the main reason for firing you is unrelated to your pregnancy; otherwise, it could likely amount to unfair dismissal and pregnancy discrimination. 

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Can a job fire you for being sick with a doctor’s note? 

An employee may fall sick, which is inevitable, and may need some time off work to recover. The employer may request that the employee contact a doctor’s note to ascertain illness. An employee’s testimony alongside a doctor’s note demonstrates that the absence of work was due to serious health issues. 

However, providing a doctor’s note doesn’t necessarily mean your employer cannot fire you. Under At-will employment laws, a job can fire you for being sick even if you have brought a doctor’s note and haven’t used the Family and Medical Leave Act. 

Can a job fire you for being sick for one day? 

It is illegal for a job to fire you for being sick for one day. You can not be fired for missing work one day because you are sick.  Many companies tolerate one “sick day” per month; however, making it a pattern to always call in occasionally ill can get you warned and possibly fired. 

Can a job fire you for being sick too often?  

Under at-will employment, a job can fire you for being sick many times, and they will not even let you know that your dismissal results from your constant absence from work because of illness. Also, there is a workers’ compensation law. 

The law only protects you when your absence directly results from your work, like sustaining injuries at your workplace. In this case, the worker’s compensation law does not only save you from being fired, but also, your employer is legally required to offset the medical expenses and also provide wage replacement. 

Can a job fire you for your child being sick? 

There may be a severe health condition, such as a chronic illness that disables the child more than three consecutive times. It could be a sickness that requires sleeping over at the hospital, or one that requires medical care often. In such situations, you must take a leave from work to care for your child. The leave will not affect your job if: 

  •  Your employer is covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act(FMLA)
  • You have worked for your employer for at least one year 
  • Your employer has up to 50 employees

Can a job legally fire you for being sick? 

There are laws intended to protect employees with serious health issues. Up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave can be available under the Family and Medical Leave Act. FMLA applies to local, state, and federal governments. It also applies to private companies that have up to fifty employees and also requires the employee to have worked for at least twelve months with the covered employer. 

This Act only covers severe medical conditions of the employee or immediate family member. 

Also, conditions such as taking care of a newborn baby, having to look after an independent person less than eighteen years of age, pregnancy, chronic diseases like strokes, and other terminal illnesses that require treatment are all allowed under FMLA. It is illegal for a job to fire you because you are sick, even if you are under at-will employment. 

Similarly, if your condition meets the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) criteria for disability, you can not be fired for taking sick leave. Chronic disease is any sickness that affects significant life activities like walking, seeing, hearing, lifting, concentrating, etc. 

Cancer and temporary disability, which lasts up to six months, are also included under the Americans with Disability Act as disabilities. Other disabilities include Depression, anxiety, arthritis, back injuries, addiction, leg injuries, and multiple sclerosis. 

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Can a job fire you for being sick during probation?

A job can fire you during probation based on poor performance. However, your employer cannot dismiss you during probation for unlawful reasons, known as wrongful dismissal. Firing an employee because he is sick is one of the illegal reasons to dismiss an employee. Among the unlawful/discriminatory reasons to dismiss an employee is their race, age, sex, political opinion, pregnancy, religion, etc. 

Frequently Asked Questions On Can A Job Fire You For Being Sick

How many times can you call in sick? 

Many companies run a “one day sick” leave monthly, while others run a three-day guideline for sick days. However, you must know the mandatory sick leave law your company is subject to. 

What should you do if a job fires you for being sick? 

If a job fires you for being sick, the right thing to do is to Seek some legal advice about your state laws and other rights of employment law from an employment lawyer.

Wrapping Up On Can A Job Fire You For Being Sick?

An employee can take sick leave if the state of their physical health does not permit them to do their job. This does not mean you, as an employee, should make it a pattern to always call demanding sick leave. Companies can often allow a few days of sick leave for their employees annually. 

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