I think you already were. The Family Medical Leave Act does provide you with up to 12 weeks of job protection if you request unpaid medical leave, but I am pretty sure that you need to let your Employer know that you were not in Jail or abandoned your job. Now, I don't know if you were unable to call them and say that you were in the hospital, but they do not really have to keep your job open if you just disappear. You should also check your Job Description to see if Sanity is listed an Essential Job Function, because that will play into any Discrimination claim.
I am assuming that you already had a WC Claim pending, which may or may not have put the Employer on notice of the recent problem. The smarter plan would have been for a Family Member or Friend to provide Employer with a Doctor note while you were incapacitated.
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The below response is intended for general information only. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your specific situation.
More facts are needed in order to better evaluate your situation such as: the size of your employer, circumstances of employment, notice given too the employer, your medical condition; is this a worker's compensation injury; and your position.
Be advised that New Jersey is an at-will employment state. Meaning, that your employer may terminate you for any reason or no reason at all. However, your employer may not terminate or discipline you based on a discriminatory reason such as your being disabled or needed a reasonable accommodation.
I would be interested in discussing the above with you in order to determine if you have a cause of action against your employer.
Arykah Asheley, Esquire
You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. The use of this website for communications with Arykah Asheley, Esquire, will not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Were you eligible for Family and Medical Leave? You had to work 1250 hours in the previous year, and your Employer must employ 50 or more employees within 75 miles to be eligible. If you were eligible, and meet other requirements, you cannot be fired for emergency leave. You may also under the Americans with Disabilities act have been entitled to short term temporary leave.
If you were fired during time in hospital, I think you could have an FMLA case so long as you provided notice to the employer as soon as practicable. Give me a call at 2152800138.