When you have a family or have medical issues, it is likely that there will be times when you need to take time off work in order to attend to a specific matter. As long as you meet certain requirements, you will qualify for unpaid employee leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Taking unpaid leave under the FMLA means that you are immune from having a negative action being made against you because of the leave taken. In other words, you cannot be fired or demoted for taking leave in order to have a child or care for a sick family member.
However, unfortunately issues happen and disputes arise. A situation that does sometimes occur is when an employee gets fired while taking FMLA leave. This is not always unlawful; therefore, if you have had your employment terminated in the state of California while you were on FMLA leave, you should take the time to learn more about the law and how it applies to you.
When is it lawful to get fired during FMLA leave?
If you get fired during your time taking FMLA or shortly before or after, your employee should be able to show that you would have been fired regardless of the fact that you took FMLA leave. For example, if you had a documented track record of poor performance and your employer decided to take action to fire you regardless of you needing to take FMLA leave, it is likely that the termination would not be deemed as unlawful.
If, however, you believe that you were fired as a consequence of taking FMLA leave, you may be able to take action against your former employer.