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Are they allowed to fire me?

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Latest post Wed, Mar 8 2017 9:07 AM by ca19lawyer2. 6 replies.
  • Tue, Mar 7 2017 3:01 PM

    Are they allowed to fire me?

    I was just informed by my coworker that my job has fired me due to me not showing up. I have never not called in to let them know I wasn't coming in. The past 5 shifts I wasn't able to come in. The first one I called three hours before. The next four I got someone to cover my shifts due to the fact I was injured. I dont have insurance so I haven't been able to go to the doctor. Can they fire me? They claim they did t because I never showed up. I always showed up about 30 minutes before almost every single day. 

  • Tue, Mar 7 2017 4:03 PM In reply to

    • Kivi
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Jan 1 2005
    • CA
    • Posts 6,363

    Re: Are they allowed to fire me?

    Essentially, employment law only regards a termination as "illegal", if you are temrinated because of a protected characteristic, such as your race, sex, ethnic background, and a few others (some of which vary by state). Some states may also protect you if you were engaged in unionizing activities or whistleblowing activities or if you were summoned to jury duty. (Almost all states protect you on the jury duty issue.)

    Judging from the meager details in your post, none of the above would appear apply in your situation. So, the answer is that firing you likely would be "legal" in virtually every US state. In fact, you can be fired for no reason at all.  All employment in this country is "at will" unless you are a contract employee (which I doubt you are.)

    If you have worked for this employer for awhile (at 1280 hours before the onset of your disability), you might be protected for 12 weeks by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), if the employer is large enough. But, you generally need medical documentation and any leave is "unpaid". 



  • Tue, Mar 7 2017 4:57 PM In reply to

    Re: Are they allowed to fire me?

    Can they fire me?

    Of course.  Also, nothing in your post suggests your termination was not legal.

    It sounds like you were fired for excessive absences (whether or not you called in or obtained coverage, that's not something most employers view kindly).

  • Tue, Mar 7 2017 5:29 PM In reply to

    • Drew
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 51,431

    Re: Are they allowed to fire me?

    Were you injured at work?  

  • Wed, Mar 8 2017 6:07 AM In reply to

    Re: Are they allowed to fire me?

    Why wouldnt they be allowed to fire you? You have excessive absences. Calling in or even having a DR's note does not save you. You need to figure out a way to go to the DR or get on medicaid if you are in fact now unemployed and get your injury looked at. If you were injured on the job there is a process you are required to go through including filing for workmans comp.

  • Wed, Mar 8 2017 8:32 AM In reply to

    Re: Are they allowed to fire me?

    Yes, your employer can fire you for absenteeism.  You should have followed your employer's rules for requesting time off.  I doubt that making your own unofficial arrangements for others to cover your shifts qualifies - employers typically want you to ask your supervisor for permission.

    As others have already mentioned, if you were injured on the job you need to tell your supervisor that ASAP (you really should have done so when it happened) and apply for workers compensation.  Here's a helpful webpage about workers compensation, courtesy of Illinois Legal Aid Online.

    If your injury was not on the job, then you MIGHT be eligible for unpaid FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) time off.  A lot of rules apply.  Your employer must have at least 50 employees within 75 miles of your work location.  You have to have worked there at least 12 months and have put in at least 1,250 hours during the past 12 months.  And you have to have a health condition that (a) prevents you from performing the essential functions of your position AND (b) is "serious."  You will need a doctor to fill out Form WH-380-E for you.  If you did not follow your employer's rules for requesting time off, your employer might be able to delay or deny your FMLA leave.

    If you think you might be eligible for FMLA leave but aren't sure your injury is considered "serious," come back on this forum and say so.  I'll try to find more information about that, as well as whether it's likely your employer can deny your request because you didn't follow the rules for requesting the leave.

    Of course, maybe you don't want to bother finding out more about FMLA leave, since it's unpaid leave and your employer could just wait a month after you come back to work and then terminate you for some other (fake) reason.

    I dont have insurance so I haven't been able to go to the doctor.

    Have you googled your injury to see what kind of treatment it might need?  If by delaying a doctor visit you risk doing yourself permanent damage or greatly delaying the day you can start working again, I'd call that a bad decision.  I have had decent luck actually shopping around by phone - I call and explain that I am a self-pay patient and ask how much I can expect to pay.  If they are evasive or the number is high, I thank them and hang up and call another doctor (or urgent-care center).  But if you have no money your best bet is probably trying to get on Medicaid.

    Good luck!

  • Wed, Mar 8 2017 9:07 AM In reply to

    Re: Are they allowed to fire me?

    Were you injured at work?

    No.  Why would you ask me such a question that has no relevance to the OP's situation?

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