The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), CA paid sick leave laws, and workers’ compensation laws are designed to protect you, the employee, and make it challenging for your employer to lawfully fire you because of your health issues. However, just because these employment-related laws protect you does not mean your employer will always follow them.
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
The ADA is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The objective of the law is to ensure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else and prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who have physical or mental impairments or disabilities that substantially limit a bodily function or life activity.
While ADA does not specifically allow time off for employees, employers are required to make reasonable accommodations that will allow employees who have disabilities to properly do their jobs. If your medical condition qualifies as a disability under the ADA and you are using sick days to take time off because of your condition, then the ADA may protect you.
The Family and Medical Leave Act
The FMLA gives certain employees the right to take as long as 12 weeks off during a 12-month period. The FMLA applies to employers with 50 or more employees. Employees are eligible to take FMLA leave if they work for a covered employer and:
· have worked for their employer for at least 12 months;
· have at least 1,250 hours of service over the previous 12 months; and
· work at a location where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles.
The FMLA provides leave in the following situations:
· To care for a new child (biological or adoptive) or
· Because an incapacitating medical condition or
· Because the employee is needed to care for a family member who is seriously ill
It is illegal to fire an employee who taking leave that is protected by the FMLA. You have a right to be reinstated to your job after your leave is over, with minimal limitations.
To learn more about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19, click here.
If taking care of your own health issues or those of a family member’s have affected your employment status, you may want to speak with an experienced employment attorney. Contact our lawyers at LOEAB Law today.