Terminating an Employee on Medical Leave: Timing is Everything

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May 01, 2015
Author: Robin Foret
Organization: Robin Foret

Employees out on medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) have a statutory right to be reinstated to the same or equivalent job upon returning from leave. Employers often believe that employees out on medical leave are completely protected from any form of termination from employment regardless of disciplinary problems that would otherwise justify such an employment decision. This general protection under the FMLA is not without exceptions, especially when information is discovered during the leave period that justifies a decision to terminate the employee. The bottom line is that when contemplating terminating an employee who has requested medical leave (or who is out on leave) based on performance issues, timing is everything.
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