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Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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can an employer fire an employee after an injury on the job?

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can an employer fire an employee after an injury on the job? Employee taken to urgent care and was given 2 weeks off work from doctor. Employee provided doctor's note to employer and now after 2 weeks employer is saying he is fired because he did not report to work..... is this legal?
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

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

Do you know if your uncle applied or was considering applying for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act or was he just off work due to the doctor's note from his employer?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He did not apply for leave of absence, he took the time off that the doctor gave him per the note he received in urgent care. He called work today to ask about his schedule since the 2 weeks are up this Friday and that's when he was told he was terminated because he did not report to work. He is a baker at Vons and got his fingers caught in a dough cutter and when the injury happened, he was taken to urgent care by an employee and HR was notified and the bakery department was shut down because of there was blood everywhere and it was a health issue until it was cleaned up. He received 9 stitches on 2 of his fingers and was told there was damage to his tendons. He went back to work when he got out of urgent care and provided the doctor note from urgent care.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He did not apply for leave of absence, he took the time off that the doctor gave him per the note he received in urgent care.  He called work today to ask about his schedule since the 2 weeks are up this Friday and that's when he was told he was terminated because he did not report to work.  He is a baker at Vons and got his fingers caught in a dough cutter and when the injury happened, he was taken to urgent care by an employee and HR was notified and the bakery department was shut down because of there was blood everywhere and it was a health issue until it was cleaned up.  He received 9 stitches on 2 of his fingers and was told there was damage to his tendons.  He went back to work when he got out of urgent care and provided the doctor note from urgent care.

Hello Aimee,

Even if your uncle did not file for FMLA leave, he could still be eligible for FMLA benefits and terminating him while he would have been on FMLA leave would serve as a violation of the Family Medical Leave Act.

He should still apply for FMLA leave immediately and also file a complaint with the EEOC, which he can do using the instructions online here:

http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/charge.cfm


He can read more about FMLA benefits online here:

http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/benefits-leave/fmla.htm

Additionally, terminating him after an injury at work can constitute wrongful termination in violation of public policy if he were (as I assume) going to file a workers' compensation claim for the injury against his employer.

Finally, under his collective bargaining agreement, he can only be terminated for 'good cause' and can file a grievance against his employer with his union for wrongful termination in violation of the collective bargaining agreement, which he should do immediately.
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your advise. I will certainly let him know the information you provided for when he talks to a representative of his union tomorrow.