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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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i recently lost my wife which resulted in a drop in work performance.

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i recently lost my wife which resulted in a drop in work performance. i enrolled in a company sponsored program. after my first session with a therapist, i called to schedule an appointment with my primary doctor to get a note for my up coming absence per company policy. my closest appointment i could get was more than 14 days away. the next day i spoke with a member of management to let them know my situation and requested two weeks vacation time that i had earned in order to comply with company policy. the next day i received a call from this manager stating they could not give me vacation without a doctors note. twenty days later i received a termination notice with a specific date if certain criteria were not met. 17 days after their deadline termination of my employment was instated resulting in a delay of my cobra option to the point of a break in continuous coverage and subject to preexisting condition clauses. my question is two things. 1. was i denied a reasonable accommodation for denial of my vacation request and 2. was my termination at their convenience consistent with fair and equal treatment under the law.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

Yes, your denial of your use of vacation time in order to accomodate your disability could definitely be seen as you being denied a reasonable accomodation.

You should file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing for discrimination in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

You can do so using the instructions available online here:

Unfortunately, unless your termination was due to discrimination due to your disability, it would be considered legal.

As an at-will employee, you can be terminated at any time for any reason with or without any prior notice.

This stems from the employment at-will doctrine, which is codified in California Labor Code Section 2922, and states:

"An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other. Employment for a specified term means an employment for a period greater than one month."

I wish I had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate a direct and honest answer to your question.
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