The rule on termination
while you are out for medical issues is not that you are immune to termination.
Rather, the rule is that you are not allowed to be terminated as a punishment for being absent due to your medical issue for up to 12 weeks. This is protection granted by the Family Medical Leave Act.
Now, if an employer can cite a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the termination and can show that your absence was not the basis for your selection, then the termination can be legal. For instance, if an employer had a list of people selected for lay off on a specific date, but then after the generation of that list one of them goes out on FMLA
, that person can still legally be terminated. The employer would have good evidence, the list, that the medical leave was not the basis for that person's selection.
Here, we don't know what basis the employer might allege, but you can be sure they will try to allege some reason why you were selected.
I would contact the Department of Labor
in your state to file an FMLA discrimination
claim and force the employer to put forward a believable, non-discriminatory reason for your selection for this restructuring...a reason that you'll be able to attack,.