The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law designed to prevent employment discrimination based on disability. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is designed to secure employment while an employee is on unpaid leave for certain qualifying reasons for a limited term. However, neither the ADA nor the FMLA guarantees protection of an individual’s job when that individual is on short term disability.
The ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who have disabilities. Employers are required to determine if the employee’s disability can be reasonably accommodated, and employees must inform their employer of their disability so that their disability can be accommodated. Accommodations may include making the workplace wheelchair accessible, changing the employee’s work schedule, modifying desks, or granting unpaid leave.
The FMLA is a federal law that allows an employee to take unpaid leave for up to 12 weeks for medical and family needs. The FMLA only applies to employers with more than 50 employees. The FMLA protects one’s job by obligating the employer to return the employee to the same or equivalent position after the leave is completed.
The following are reasons for legal termination during short
term disability leave:
Indefinite leave. When an employee is on leave for an indefinite amount of time and the employer is unable to accommodate the employee’s absence, the employer can legally terminate that employee.
Business Necessity. Employers can legally terminate an employee for economic and business necessities. An employer may need to lay off employees due to an economic downturn, resulting in the need to reduce the workforce. The layoff is not based on the employee’s disability leave and it applies to all workers, therefore it is legal.
Reasonable accommodations cannot be made. When an employer is unable to make reasonable accommodations for the employee’s disability, the employer can legally terminate that employee.
An employer can terminate employment if the decision was not based on the employee’s disability. The employee needs to prove that their employer terminated employment because of their disability or because the employee was on disability leave.
If you were terminated while on short term disability, you may have a legal claim against your employer. The Pittsburgh short term disability insurance lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. will analyze your claim and prove that the employer was unjustified in your firing so that you may be adequately compensated. Do not hesitate to call our office for a free consultation at 412-765-1888 or contact us online. Located in Pittsburgh, we represent clients throughout western Pennsylvania, including Allegheny County, Lawrence County, and Washington County.