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Is it legal to be laid off while you are injured?

Malibu, CA |

i was in an accident and my boss laid me off. she said that i wouldn't be able to do my tasks which was working the front desk of an office.

the injury did not happen on the job

i had been working there for 6 months

it is a physical therapy office with 4 employees including the owner who is one of the therapists.

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Attorney answers 3


The answer really depends on if you were able to continue performing your job duties during the time period. Based upon the small office and lack of on the job injury, it is possible that your boss would not be liable for laying you off. However, if you were able to work and trying to work, then you may have a claim.


Sadly, if you worked for an employer with less than 5 employees, you would not be protected under the Fair Employment and Housing Act or the FMLA or California Family Rights Act, which only apply to companies with more than 50 employees. There is no duty to accommodate persons with disabilities who work for such small employers.

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.


Yes, it unfortunately is legal if there are only 4 employees. An employer with less than 5 employees doesn't have the duty to provide reasonable accommodations to injured persons.

Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.