What if I got hurt on the job and missed days when I went to therapy but got fired?

UPDATED: May 9, 2012

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What if I got hurt on the job and missed days when I went to therapy but got fired?

Is there anything that can help me? I’m still in pain.

Asked on May 9, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, an employer does not need to allow employees to take time off from work for therapy and may fire them for unexcused or unapproved absences. There are exceptions, however:

1) If you used sick or other PTO days which you earned as part of your compensation, you should not be fired for using them.

2) If your employer were covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)), which means it had at least 50 employees, you were eligible under FMLA (you had worked at least 1250 hours in the last year, and had worked at this employer for 12 months), and the condition was sufficiently serioius as to qualify under FMLA, then if you complied with FMLA requirements and used unpaid FMLA leave for the therapy, you could not be fired for it. To see more about FMLA rules and eligibilty, go to  the U.S. Department of Labor website. (There are also state leave laws in many states, but their requirements tend to more-or-less mirror those of FMLA.)

3) Prior to taking time for these therapy visits, your employer had promised you could have the time, and  the only reason you went to the therapy during work hours was your employer's promise that you could.

Other than 1) - 3) above, however, your employer could most likelyh terminate you.

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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