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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11266
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I am interested in some advise on a very recent termination.

Customer Question

Hello I am interested in some advise on a very recent termination.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome. I am happy to answer any legal question you may have. What exactly is your question?
I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Patrick,
I was just "fired" from my place of employment yesterday due to consecutive call outs. I have hospital documentation as to the reasoning for call outs and Dr.'s notes. Would there be a case for this?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Will this conversation be added to the website for others to view?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. A couple questions for you.
How many employees does your company have and how long have you been employed there?
What was the medical condition for which you missed work? (i.e. flu, a chronic condition of some kind, etc.)
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Nothing on Just Answer is private or protected by the attorney client privilege. See the disclaimer below, which states: "JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege." However, I can ask the moderators to lock this question from public view once we are finished if you would like. Please advise if you would like to continue.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The business is a LTD if that helps. The owner has 4 locations.
My medical condition is Abdominal Pain due to kidney stones.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. ***** still need to know how many employees they have (approximately) and how long you have been working there. Thanks again.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There are 30 employees at my location. I have been employed ever since May 13, 2013.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
please ask if this conversation can be locked. I would like to share the state I am in.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
With 30 employees, the only law that would protect your employment is the Americans With Disabilities Act, which requires employers to "reasonably accommodate" employees with "disabilities." A disability is a medical condition which "significantly impairs a major life function." That is a high standard but severe kidney stones may qualify. Ultimately, whether the standard of disability is met is judged on a case by case basis. There is no "list" of conditions which qualify or are excluded from the definition.
If you can argue that your kidney stones qualified as a disability, then "reasonable accommodations" for your disability could have included allowing your absences. But even under the ADA, an employer is not automatically required to accommodate a disabled employee's call outs from work. This and any other form of disability accommodation need be granted only to the extent it does not impose "undue hardship" on the employer, defined as significant difficulty or expense.
So, if you can argue that your condition rose to the level of a diability and that your employer could have reasonably accommodated you without incurring undue hardship, then you may have a claim for wrongful termination in violation of the ADA. That is the route you would have to take toward any sort of legal recourse here.
The first step in pursuing a claim if you desire to do so would be to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is the federal agency that enforces the ADA. You can file your complaint here: http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/howtofile.cfm
The EEOC will investigate and attempt to mediate a resolution with your employer. If that is not forthcoming, they will issue you a "right to sue" letter which will then enable you to file a lawsuit in civil court and obtain an attorney.
I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.
If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That was just one location of 30 employees, there are three other locations under the same business name.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

In order to qualify for additional protection, you would need to have at least 50 employees within a 75 mile geographic radius of where you work. Is that the case?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the other 2 facilities are within 75 mile geographic radius.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Okay, in that case, you were likely protected by the Family Medical Leave Act, which entitled you to take up to 12 weeks of protected job leave for any "serious health condition." The definition of serious health condition is less stringent than the definition for "disability" under the ADA, and so it is very likely that your condition would qualify.
Under the FMLA, your employer would be PROHIBITED from terminating you for any qualifying medical condition which results in less than 12 weeks of missed work. Unlike the ADA, it's not about weighing hardship versus reasonableness. The right to take leave under the FMLA is absolute.
It would be wise to immediately raise the issue of FMLA coverage to your employer and also to submit the required FMLA paperwork. You don't need to have submitted the paperwork in advance in order to have the leave qualify for FMLA, but it should be submitted after the fact to solidy that the leave does qualify for protection. This alone may cause your employer to re-evaluate your termination, but if it doesn't, you can retain a lawyer and sue for wrongful termination in violation of the FMLA. See here for the FMLA form you need: http://www.dol.gov/whd/forms/WH-380-E.pdf
Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you.
Very best wishes.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello again,
I just wanted to followup with you to make sure that you did not have any further questions or concerns. For some unknown reason, the experts are not always getting replies or ratings (which is how we get credit for our work) that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I have not yet received either. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the site administrator.
In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed.
Very best wishes.