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Fired for asking for FMLA leave
Oct 3, 2012

I would appreciate any help I can get on my situation.

I asked my employee for FMLA leave, and the next day he said I was not eligible. I tried to explain to him why I thought I was entitled to leave but he insisted that I was not. I told him that I still believe I was covered and eligible under the fmla act. He called me in his office a few hours later and told me that I was fired becuase he did not like my attitude and told me that he believed my work was poor. He said this is Illinois and he can fire me for any reason

My work quailty/ethic has not changed over the past 5 years. Even if he thought it was poor - and there has been no formal complaints or disciplinary steps ever filed on me - can he wait until I ask for FMLA leave to fire me?

Response from Mr. Chambers

An employer can terminate an "at will" employee for no reason and for any reason HOWEVER, he may not terminate you for illegal reasons such as discrimination, etc. He may be able to terminate you for a "bad attitude" but probably not if the only example of that "attitude" was asking for a federally mandated benefit due to disability. The difficulty is proving that it was done for an inappropriate reason.

You say, your work quality hasn't changed. Have you had performance evaluations over your five years? What other documentation is there to support there was no "attitude" problem until you started asking for FMLA?

With documentation, you may have a case for wrongful termination, however, you need to discuss that with an attorney in Illinois. There are legal agencies in Illinois that serve the HIV community. If you go to this site's home page and search for AIDS Legal Services Illinois, you should find several groups you can discuss your issue with.

Good luck, Jacques

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