Q: Is it legal for an employer to terminate you if you’re dying at the hospital?
My father is being hospitalized from COVID and his prognosis is grim. It’s likely he will not be returning to work indefinitely. I need to update his address on file to my address as he no longer lives at the house he was renting. I have to go through the HR department at his work in order to update his address with the hospital. I’m afraid if I call and let them know the situation they will terminate him from his job and subsequently drop him from his health insurance. Is it legal for an employer to terminate you if you’re dying at the hospital?
A: An employer can lawfully terminate an employee who is out on leave if the leave is indefinite and there is no communication to the employer that suggests additional unpaid leave would allow the employee to return to work within a reasonably defined period of time. If he is terminated and dropped from his regular health insurance, he can opt to take the COBRA coverage from that same insurer.
I am sorry your father is in such bad shape. Good luck to him and to you.
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