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What do you know about FMLA termination and expiration rules?

Thanks to FLMA, you took time off work to care for a sick family member. Before you returned to the office, you learned your employer terminated you. Does that violate your rights?

Chron explores when employers have no legal obligation to re-employ workers on FMLA leave. Find out if you have an employee rights violations case against your company.


Perhaps your company laid off employees during your leave, including your position. If your employer shows all workers in your unit qualified for the layoff, you may not have grounds for a legal case. The same applies if your company proves you would have lost your job, anyway.

Term employment

Were you a season or term employee? Companies do not have to extend employment terms that end during FMLA leave.

Overstaying leave

FMLA does not protect your position if you take over 12 weeks off during your leave. You may lose your job for going on leave past the 12 protected weeks, but not for using your protected leave.


Companies may take disciplinary action against employees on FMLA leave. This applies if the business realizes misconduct during the employee’s leave. A company may hire a substitute employee to fill a regular employee’s role while on leave. If the substitute worker discovers evidence of the regular employee’s misdeeds during FMLA leave, the company may terminate the person. The same applies if an employee takes FMLA leave for fraudulent reasons.

You deserve legal FMLA leave without worrying about losing your position. Depending on how your employer handled your termination, you could have a legal case.