Q: I have pneumonia and was told by my doctor to take time off from my job. I called my employer and was terminated. What?
I was terminated after telling my employer that I needed the time off to recuperate.
A: Texas is an employment at will state. Typically, unless an employee has an employment contract, or is employed under a collective bargaining agreement through a union, the employer can modify or terminate the employment at any time with or without cause for any non-discriminatory reason. However, an employer generally cannot alter or terminate employment for prohibited discriminatory reasons (such as a disability), or in retaliation for certain protected actions (such as whistle-blowing).
The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) protects people with disabilities from discrimination. However, under the ADA, temporary conditions that are minor don't qualify as disabilities. For example, colds, the flu, and sprains generally won't qualify as disabilities, assuming they don't have serious, long-term consequences. Depending on the length of time off and the severity of the temporary illness, pneumonia may be considered a disability.
If you wish to bring suit against your former employer, note you must file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC within 180 days after the adverse employment action took place (in this case termination). You should contact an employment attorney to discuss your situation.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.