No, spine surgery is not a valid reason to let someone go. It may also be discrimination. If you had spine surgery and were let go, then you were wrongfully terminated by your employer. We can see that there several areas surrounding this subject matter. If you were fired for getting spine surgery you may have been subject to wrongful termination, discrimination, or illegal retaliation. In fact, you may be entitled to certain conditions that your employer is withholding for you due to surgery. Make sure you know your rights so that employers don’t take advantage of you. You cannot let your employer get away with unlawful conduct. Call our office to get in touch with one of our lawyers who will help you fight back against employers like this. The lawyers at California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group have extended knowledge of employment laws and will make sure that you receive everything you’re entitled to as an employee.
What laws protect me from getting fired for having spine surgery?
If you had spine surgery and never fully recovered, you may be considered disabled. If your recovery is prolonged, you may be temporarily disabled. The Employment Development Department considers an employee disabled if they are not able to do their job. This doesn’t mean you are unable to do any job; it just means that if after surgery you are unable to do your job, then you are considered temporarily disabled by the EDD’s standards. Social security disability benefits are for workers who are permanently disabled. The Social Security Administration states that social security disability benefits are for employees who cannot work because of a serious medical condition that lasts over a year, or results in death. It’s more likely that you are considered temporarily disabled after spine surgery. California’s short-term disability benefits are weekly payments for those that cannot work. You may not know that you are already paying for this through your payroll deductions. To receive the benefits, you will need your doctor to certify that you are unable to work due to you spine surgery.
Another law that may apply to you is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This is a federal anti-discrimination law that prohibits discrimination against disabled individuals in all areas of public life. This includes at work. You are protected under the law if you work at a company with at least 15 employees. The ADA defined a disability as a physical or mental impairment that limits your ability to do one or more major life activities. If it takes longer than 6 months for you to recover from your spine surgery, you may be disabled according to the ADA. ADA prohibits any kind of employment discrimination against you because of your disability. If you are protected under the ADA, it is illegal for your employer to fire you for your disability. In order to know exactly what laws apply to you, you’ll have to determine if you are considered disabled under these different laws because of your spine surgery. Not only is it illegal for your employer to fire you because of your disability, but it is illegal for your employer to retaliate against your for enacting your rights under this law. Retaliation can come in many forms, but most often we see employers firing their employees as a response. If this has happened to you because you identify as disabled from your spine surgery, then you have been wrongfully terminated and discriminated against. To get your rights back, you need to file a lawsuit against your employer with the help of one of our lawyers.
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is another anti-discrimination law that prohibits employment discrimination against employees based on a protected category. The protected categories are:
- Race and color
- Ancestry and national origin
- Religion and creed
- Age (over 40)
- Mental or physical disability
- Sex and gender
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identification
- Medical condition
- Genetic information
- Marital status
- Military or veteran status
Once again, if your spine surgery has rendered you disabled, then you are protected under this law from both discrimination and retaliation. If you are unsure about what laws your are protected under after your spine surgery, you can schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers who will sit down and listen to your individual story to determine what laws apply to you. If you already know what laws apply to you and you feel as if your rights under any of these laws have been violated by your employer, then you may want to sue your employer. Our discrimination and wrongful termination attorneys will be able help you win as much compensation as possible.
Can my employer fire me if I take time off after spine surgery?
In most cases, it is illegal for your employer to fire you if you take time off after spine surgery. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that allows for employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to address any of these situations:
- Childbirth, adoption, or the placement of child in foster care
- To take care of an immediate family member’s serious medical condition
- To take care of an employee’s own serious medical condition
This leave is job secured, so if it is necessary to take time off from work to recover from spine surgery, then you may be able to take your FMLA. Your employer cannot fire you for taking this leave for suggesting you are taking this leave, and they cannot fire you after you have taken it. Here are the requirements to be protected under the FMLA:
- Your employer must employ at least 50 people who have worked at least 20 weeks in the last year
- You must have worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months
- You must live within a 75-mile radius of the job site
This law protects your job when you are recovering from spine surgery. If your employer has not followed the regulations under it, you will want to speak with one of our attorneys. Here at our firm, our lawyers are well versed in the laws behind employment and taking leave. You will be in good hands here.
The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) is similar to the FMLA in that it allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. The reasons that qualify to take the CFRA are only slightly different than the FMLA. For instance, domestic partners are included in the reason to take care of a family member with a serious medical condition. The qualifications to be covered are the same as the FMLA though. So there are potentially two laws that will allow you to take job-protected leave for recovery after spine surgery. Your employer cannot retaliate against your for taking it because it is your right to be able to address your surgery and properly recover so that you can work again.
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While it is, in most cases, illegal for your employer to fire you after getting spine surgery, it does not mean that there are employers out there that will do just that. If you happened to have one of these employers, first, we empathize with you, and second, we want to help you get your job back as well as compensation for your pain and suffering. You can call our office to a schedule a free consultation with one of the top lawyers in Los Angeles. We also will not charge you to take on your case. We cover all legal costs, provide access to financial help and lenders, and even cover transportation costs. We think it’s important that your experience with us is a positive once that you’ll remember. Our zero-fee guarantee means that you will only have a contingency fee if we win your case. If you have already spoken with an attorney, it doesn’t hurt to get a second opinion from one of our skilled lawyers. Call to schedule your free second opinion so that you see that one of our lawyers at California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group is the one for you.