Can I sue if I was fired with no compensation after being cleared to go back to work after an injury?
Question Details: I had a non-work related injury; I fractured my foot and had to take some time off work to recover. The total time was 1 month, employer said it was OK, to feel better and let her know of any progress, I checked in after every appointment. The moment I was cleared for work I sent the message that I could go back to work as long as I don't lift too much weight. I then received message back saying that my job was no longer available because they had to hire other people to take my place during the month and that the payroll had been maxed out. I did alot for the company and played a vital role, the company paid us as independent contractors even though everyone was full-time working there everyday and did not pay overtime. I recieved no compensation for being fired and no notice before I told them I was ready to come back to work. Legally can I do anything?
Did you use FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) leave? Which also means was your employer covered (it has at least 50 employees who work within a 75-mile radius) and were no eligible (worked there at least one year? worked at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 months?)? If your employer was covered, you were eligible, and you actually used FMLA leave (asked to take leave under FMLA) then they had to hold your job for you or give you an equivalent job. If they did not, you could file a complaint for a FMLA violation with the department of labor.
But if your employer was not covered, you were eligible, or you did not use FMLA leave, you had no protection for your job, and they could fill your position and terminate you at will, without having to provide any compensation. Only FMLA or a similar state law--and FL does not have a similar state law--protects or holds your job. Without FMLA, you would have no recourse.