What are my rights if I was termination due to medical illness?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What are my rights if I was termination due to medical illness?

I had been employed at a nursing home and was recently diagnosed with anxiety. I started medication but had a bad reaction and it prevented me from working; this happened twice. I had a nurse tell me to go home and that she would let my boss know. The second time I had turned in a doctor’s note and the HR lady told me to go get checked out and that she would let my director know. I have a lot of paperwork saying that I had been medically seen. However, they refused to accept the doctor’s note. They told me don’t come back but to call. I found out today that I have been terminated due to 2 call-offs in the first 90 days, not calling off correctly, and failure to adjust. I had asked many times to get trained and only got backlash. What can I do from here?

Asked on May 24, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that there really isn't much that you can do unless your termination violated the terms of an employment contract or union agreement. The fact is that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as they see fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). Therefore, whether or not to accept a doctor's note is up to them. Accordingly you can be discharged if you did not use sick time or PTO to cover your absence. In fact, in an "at will" employment relationship, a worker can be fired for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.

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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