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Can I get fired for a non work-related injury?

If you get an injury in California, such as from a car accident, sports accident or other unfortunate incident, and you are unable to work at your job for a period of time, you may worry your employer could fire you. Depending on the situation, there are a number of laws that protect your job. Some include benefits to help cover expenses, while others may force you to take unpaid time off. 

According to the Chron, if your injury is long-term or permanent you may qualify for disability, which includes cash benefits and health insurance. As part of the Americans With Disabilities Act, an employer cannot fire you due to a disability and must respect and accommodate your needs. This may include giving you a period of time off, changing your hours to part-time or making accommodations to your work space so you can perform your duties. If you receive disability benefits, and you cannot perform your current job, you may receive vocational training to help get you into a different position.

The Department of Labor discusses another option for you, which is the Family and Medical Leave Act. If you apply and get approval for the program, your employer may not fire you for taking time off to heal. The Act allows an eligible employee to take up to 12 weeks off over a 12-month period for a serious health condition. This time is unpaid, but you have job protection and you are able to keep your health insurance coverage as long as you continue to pay your share. 


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