Can You Fire An Employee For Being Sick?

Most times many employees try as much as possible to avoid taking time off from work even if it concerns one’s health out of the fear of losing their jobs. A large number of employees when sick tends to mask the state of their health and continue their daily activities like nothing is wrong due to the fear that they may get dismissed from their place of work if they call in sick. Let us know about “Can You Fire An Employee For Being Sick?”

Can You Fire An Employee For Being Sick?

Can You Fire An Employee For Being Sick?

It is crucial to remember that while an employee cannot be dismissed for being unwell, most firms have procedures in place that include sick leave, and if an employee does not follow these policies to the letter, they may be fired. 

It is vital to point out that in many states, employment is considered “at-will” which means that an employee is legally free to quit at any point in time without any explanation likewise an employer can equally fire an employee at any point in time without any explanation. Then again, there could be the presence of a contract which would state the terms and conditions from both parties in which case the working terms are laid out.

Laws That Protect An Employee From Being Fired

There are certain laws and exemptions that protect employees from being fired for being sick irrespective of the “at-will” employment policy. These include;

  • Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA): Employers must make appropriate accommodations for employees with disabilities, including sick leave, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. An employee is protected from being fired by an employer if he or she takes a sick day due to a handicap under this law. 
  • Company Sick Leave Policies: most employers have policies that cover sick leave and provides rules and penalty for what happens if an employee should breach this policy. 
  • Family And Medical Leave Act (FMLA): The Family and Medical Absence Act allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for family members or deal with significant health issues. It is important to note that in the FMLA act, not every employee is eligible for this leave unless if they are able to meet the specific requirement needed to take part in this act.
  • Work Conditions: If an employee gets sick or injured due to the working conditions of the company, the employee is exempted from work for a particular time which means that the employee is given time off due to the sickness or injury.
  • Families First Corona Virus Act (FFCRA): There is little doubt that the covid-19 virus has had a significant impact on everyone. The families first corona virus act was designed to assist counteract the virus’s impacts in the workplace and give protection to American employees. Employers can grant paid absence to their employees for causes relating to the covid-19 virus. 
  • Employment Contracts: The employment contracts exempt an employee from getting fired for being sick or taking a sick leave as long as it is clearly stated in the terms and conditions of the contract. 

Why Is It Important To Know Your Rights As An Employee?

It is paramount that employees are fully aware of their rights. Being aware of your rights as an employee would go a long way because you get to understand the do’s and don’ts of an employer, especially before any decision is made. It’s also a good idea to check with your state’s labor department to see if there are any state laws that give you as an employer additional rights. Finally, as an employee, it is best you understand the policies of the company as this would be an added advantage to knowing your rights in the company.


Now we have learnt “Can You Fire An Employee For Being Sick?”, Often times employees are anxious to make it known to their employers that they are sick possibly because they do not want to risk getting fired. In spite of this, employees should understand that taking a sick leave would not get them fired as long as they are doing so in adherence to the policy of the company. 

Frequently Asked Questions 
  • How do I know about the company’s policies?

Answer: there is no company without its policy. There are several ways to find out about a company’s policy. The easiest way I believe is through proper research, you can literarily find anything on the internet, that should be the first place to check.

  • How do I know if the company operates “at-will” policy?

Answer: The best approach advisable would be to inquire about the policies the company in subject holds and operates within its organization.

  • How do I get into an employment contact with the company?

Answer: I think it’s best to acquire such information from your lawyer, as your lawyer is best suited to inform you about this contract in detail.

Can You Fire An Employee For Being Sick?

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