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Can you get fired if you miss work but you have a doctors note in California?

Garden Grove, CA |

I have a strained hamstring due to work, so I went to the doctor and they suggested me to take a week off and they gave me a note to give to my job. I went to my job, but they didn't believe it was work related. However, I didn't report it first to job before going to the doctor. I do not know since it's my first job. One of the shift leaders said "Well see if we can still hold your job?" I was wondering if they can fire/laid you off even if you have a doctor's note? Thank you.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

If you have a strained hamstring you should be able to return to work without limitation - your wc claim may not have a lot of value - tell your employer that you want to get better and you need to see a doctor - Hopefully you will get better and return to work - As for your question about being fired if you are on temporary disability and a doctor has placed you off of work then the law does provide you with protection from being fired

we will not take any action on this case until we have a signed retainer agreement


Being out injured is not an absolute guarantee of your job on return, but several statutes protect temporarily disabled employees in many ways. You can still be terminated if, for instance, your job would have gone away anyway, whether or not you were injured. However, CA employers of five or more employees have a legal duty to reasonably accommodate an employee's known temporarily disabled condition if doing so does not create an actual undue hardship. One way an employer is supposed to consider such reasonable accommodation is to give some unpaid leave to allow the employee to heal and return to work. If you are terminated because you needed one week off to heal your hamstring (and not because of performance issues that predated your injury or because your job was eliminated) then your employer has likely violated the Fair Employment and Housing Act by failing to offer you a simple reasonable accommodation.

If that happens you need to locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section, or go to, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.

Good luck to you.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.

Neil Pedersen

Neil Pedersen


While there are many very fine attorneys on this site, I would strongly suggest you NOT work with any attorneys who directly solicit your call through their answers, as such conduct demonstrates they are willing to ignore the Community Guidelines on this site and perhaps also act in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct regarding the solicitation of clients. Find an attorney with integrity. FYI.


Your attorney will know about Sedction 132a of the B & P. That is a wrongful discharge brought about becasue an employee brougth a workers' comp claim. Shelly Weinstein is a great W/C attorney, call her at 818 788 5757

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