It is likely that you will become sick and need to take time off work at some point during your career. It is estimated that approximately 58% of people between ages eighteen and fifty-eight take sick leave each year. Many people might be surprised to learn that America has no laws in place requiring businesses to provide employers with paid sick leave; however, American companies are required to offer unpaid leave to employees for medical reasons.
With that in mind, can you get fired for getting sick in California? If you have been fired for being sick in California, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Blackstone Law is an experienced law firm that fights for employee rights. You should consider speaking to one of our employment lawyers if you have been wrongfully fired for being sick.
The State of California’s Paid Sick Leave Laws
Are you aware that California is an at-will employment state? Employers are allowed to terminate employment without any notice and for almost any reason; however, this does not mean that employees are without protection.
It is illegal for a California employer to terminate your employment if you use sick leave that you have accrued and are entitled to use. If you are fired for using your sick leave, you might be able to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination.
In California, according to the Healthy Workplaces/Healthy Families Act of 2014, all employees who work with a company for more than thirty days in a calendar year are entitled to paid sick leave.
What Qualifies as Sick Leave In California?
Unlike certain states, California employees are allowed to take paid sick leave for themselves or a number of other people. Such people include a child (i.e., biological, adopted, foster, or stepchild), parent, sibling, grandchild, grandparent, spouse, or registered domestic partner.
Additionally, employees in California are allowed to take paid sick leave to take care of themselves or a family member when seeking diagnostic care or treatment for pre-existing health conditions.
The Family and Medical Leave Act
Have you used up all of your paid sick leave, or have you not been working for a company long enough to earn paid sick leave? If this is the case, you might be protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
According to this Act, you can take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave to take care of specific family or medical concerns. This can include taking care of a new child and taking care of a family member with a serious health condition. It can also include taking care of your own serious health condition, such as an illness or injury.
As with sick leave, your employer is not allowed to punish you or fire you for utilizing the Family and Medical Leave Act.
The Americans with Disabilities Act
If you have a disability, the Americans with Disabilities Act is a law that could apply to your situation. With this Act, you could initiate a case of discrimination if your employer fires you because you needed to take sick leave due to your disability.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee with physical or mental disabilities that change their scope of functions or abilities. Contact our workplace discrimination attorneys today for legal help!
Contact a California Lawyer Today at Blackstone Law to Discuss Your Options
At Blackstone Law, we know how employers in California can be unfair with regard to sick leave. We want to help you hold your employer accountable. We may be able to prove that your employer failed to provide you with your required paid sick leave time, and we can help you bring a lawsuit against your employer.
We want to alleviate some of the financial strain that was placed upon you when your employment was unfairly terminated. To discuss your legal options, you can contact us here, or give us a call at (310) 956-4054.