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Can an employee be fired while under a doctors care under IL employment laws

Brighton, IL |

my daughter works at a local fast food chain in Illinois. She has been there almost 3 years. when she first started she told the manager that she had spinal fusion surgery in 2004 and that when the weather changes in the spring and fall she has sever back pain and sometimes cant get out of bed for a day or two. Her boss has known this from day one and theres been no problem until now. My daughter in the 3 years shes been there has only missed like 4 or five days and she has had a doctors note with all of them. she recently had put her 2 week notice in because she found closer employment. Her boss has always treated my daughter horribly in the past because my daughters bosses boyfriend used to date my daughter.My daughter was hired by a different manager or im sure she wouldnt have a job there to begin with anyway my daughter had to call off work one day because her back hurt her so bad. She was up all night crying because of the pain.Well my daughter called off with 7 hours advance notice and she told her boss she was going to call and get a doctors appointment. She finally fell asleep so I tried to call the doctor early in the morning to get her an appointment for that day. They had nothing available untl 10 am the next day.Well my daughter kept trying to get ahold of her boss to let her know that her appointment wouldnt be until the following day. She finally just left her a voicemail after calling 6 times and not being able to get ahold of her. Her voicemail said that she wouldnt be able to get in to see the doctor until the following day and that she would have a docters excuse to cover both days. Her boss ended up texting my daughter she didnt even call her. She told my daughter that she had all of her shifts covered and that she didnt need to come back. My daughter did nothing wrong she even brought in the doctors note the next day after her appointment. Her doctors note covered both days. My daughter had just put her 2 week notice in like 2 days before this. I realize she was going to quite anyway but she was relying on the income from her job to pay her bills. Since she did nothing wrong is there anyway that they are at least responsible to pay her for those 2 weeks since she was fired unjustly and under a doctors care at the time?

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Attorney answers 1


There is a possibility that your daughter has a claim under the FMLA, if she worked at least 1250 hours in the 12 months prior to her calling off. The employer also has to have at least 50 employees within 75 miles of the place your daughter works. If those two conditions are met, given the notice the employer already had, it is likely that your daughter has a claim.
However, you also need to think of the practical side of things -- do you want to sue over two weeks pay? Your daughter will be saddled with a reputation for suing employers and that may haunt her when trying to find another job. I'd suggest first that she see if she can start her new job earlier than she was scheduled. And then discuss the matter with the old employer.
In any case you should consult a lawyer with all of the facts and more time to review and discuss matters.