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Being laid off while on leave

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2023 | Employment Law - Employee

Taking a leave from work is often a stressful time for California employees due to medical reasons, family care or personal reasons. However, the question of whether an employee can be laid off while on leave can be a source of concern for many.

Government protections

It’s important to understand that employees who take leave are protected by state and federal laws. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides job protection for eligible employees who take leave for certain family and medical reasons. Similarly, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects employees with disabilities who need time off as a reasonable accommodation.

Under these laws, an employer cannot terminate an employee simply because he or she is on leave. Doing so would be considered discrimination and a violation of these laws. However, this does not mean that an employee is completely protected from being laid off while on leave under employment law – employee protections.

Laying off workers on leave

If the company is experiencing financial difficulties, or if a department is being restructured, employees may be laid off regardless of their leave status. However, the employer must follow the proper policies and procedures for laying off employees and cannot target employees based solely on their leave status.

It’s also important to note that employees who are on leave may not be entitled to certain benefits or protections that other workers receive. For example, if an employee is on unpaid leave, he or she may not accrue vacation time or sick leave during that time. Furthermore, if the company offers severance packages to laid-off employees, workers on leave may not be entitled to that package.

Be aware of your rights

While employees who are on leave are generally protected by federal and state laws, there are still circumstances in which they may be laid off. The employer must have legitimate reasons for laying off employees and cannot discriminate against workers based on their leave status. If you have concerns about your job security while on leave, it’s essential to talk to your HR representative to understand your rights and protections.