What can I do if I had a doctor’s note to be off of work but I got fired anyway?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do if I had a doctor’s note to be off of work but I got fired anyway?

I was just recently fired within the last hour over the phone on my day off. I was in the hospital yet again yesterday. The hospital found possible blood clots in my lungs and I have an infection in the lining of my lungs, they gave me a work excuse to be off work because they didn’t want me breathing in cold air to try and help heal them. But they still fired me this morning over the phone. Is there anything I can do?

Asked on January 29, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can't be fired for simply having a medical condition. I you feel this was the case, contact thw federal EEOC or state civil or equal rights agency. But medical condition or not (and regardless of a doctor's note--the doctor is not an executive of the employer and has no authority over it), you can be fired for:
1) Issues unrelated to the medical conditions or you absences, like poor performance, insubordination, violating company policy (including sick leave and/call out policy), etc.
2) Absenteeism, if you missed more work than you had PTO (like sick days) to cover and also either did not use or were not eligible for FMLA leave (or your company was too small--less than 50 emloyees--to be covered); the law does not make employers retain employees with excessive or improper absences. (Note: you can find the rules for FMLA at the U.S. Dept. Of Labor website.)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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