Can my employer terminate my employment for calling in when I had a PTSD flashback?

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Can my employer terminate my employment for calling in when I had a PTSD flashback?

My PTSD was triggered at work, which caused a severe flashback and panic attack.
I called into work the next day and explained this to my employer. My employer
stated that since no one would cover my shift, I need to come in without
accommodation. I refused to go to work because I was not able to at the time. My
employer is now considering terminating my employment. Is this legal?

Asked on June 9, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If you did not have and use paid time off (PTO), like sick time, you had earned, and/or were not able to use Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for the absence, then yes, you may be terminated. A "reasonable accommodation" is an accommodation that lets you work; it is not being able to miss work. To miss work, you have to use PTO or FMLA; if you don't have or can't use either, it was an unauthorized absence and you may be terminated.
To be potentially covered by FMLA, you must have worked there at least a year and worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months; and the employer must have at least 50 employees who work within a 75-mile radius.


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