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Can you legally be laid off while on disability?

Victorville, CA |

I have carpal tunnel in both of my hands and my doctor has taken me off until 9/4/2012, my employeer contacted me yesterday and informed me that he has laid me off. Is this a legal action?

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Attorney answers 2


Generally, it is unlawful for an employer to lay off an employee because of a disability. But an employer can lay off employees for legitimate reasons, such as a reduction in force for economic reasons, or for disciplinary or performance reasons. The issue becomes what the real reason was for your layoff. There is no way to offer an opinion based on the few facts posted.

They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion based on very limited information. My opinion should not be taken as legal advice. For true advice, we would require a confidential consultation where I would ask you questions and get your complete story. This is a public forum, so remember, nothing here is confidential. Nor am I your attorney. I do not know who you are and you have not hired me to provide any legal service. To do so would require us to meet and sign written retainer agreement. My responses are intended for general information only.


It depends...if but for your medical leave, you would have been laid off (reduction in force, department closure), it is probably legal. If the trigger of your lay off was your medical leave, it is possible that you may have a claim. It is difficult to analyze without more details.
The first thing you should do is apply for unemployment. The second thing? Call an employment attorney. Good luck!

Lesly J. Adams has been licensed to practice law in California since 2010. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult with your own attorney.