Terminating Employees in Need of Leave is a Violation of Fair Employment

Termination of employees who need medical leave for a physical or mental disability could be a violation of the Fair Housing and Employment Act.

Employers have an affirmative duty to reasonably accommodate disabled employees. Leave time for a finite period is considered a reasonable accommodation under the California Government Code (Fair Employment and Housing Act).

“Holding a job open for a disabled employee who needs time to recuperate or heal is in itself a form of reasonable accommodation and may be all that is required where it appears likely that the employee will be able to return to an existing position at some time in the foreseeable future ” (Jensen v. Wells Fargo Bank (2000) 85 Cal. App.4th 245, 263.)

Thus, employees who need more leave time off to recover but are laid off or terminated by an employer because his/her 12 week family leave period could possible have a wrongful termination claim. Also employees who are not otherwise qualified for family leave but do meet the qualifications for being disability under the California Government code may also have this right to medical leave as a reasonable accommodation for a disability.

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