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Can I be Fired for Taking a Sick Day?



The United States is the only developed country that doesn't require employers to provide some form of paid sick leave. But several states are hoping to change that in 2015.

The push for paid sick leave has been spearheaded by Family Values @ Work, an organization helping to move forward paid sick leave bills in 2015. Massachusetts, along with Oakland, California, and a few New Jersey cities are pushing for the measure as a step toward workplace equality, since women are much more likely than men to take sick days to help care for children or aging parents.

West Virginia in particular has no laws requiring employers to provide sick leave, either paid or unpaid. West Virginia is also an employment-at-will state, meaning that individuals can be fired for any reason that is not discriminatory towards individuals with protected status. So, the average individual working without any sort of sick leave and not under the protection of the FMLA could be fired simply for taking a sick day.

The 1993 Family Medical Leave Act does require unpaid leave to be granted for the purpose of maternity leave or family health leave, however FMLA fails to cover about 40 percent of the working population, including part-time employees and those who work full or part time for small companies, which are exempt from FMLA.

If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings.

Our attorneys have more than 35 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304.523.8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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