Here are specific ways in which you can enhance your wrongful termination case when you are terminated while on disability or medical leave in violation of ADA, FEHA, FMLA, CFRA or any other applicable law:
1. Obtain a letter from a doctor that states that you have been released to return to work with or without limitations as of a certain date.
You should get this type of letter assuming that it’s in fact true. This is because as long as you are completely unable to work, you are not incurring loss of wages and therefore any wrongful termination case based on violation of your medical leave rights will be of a very limited value. After all, the employer will have the following valid argument – this employee (you) would not be working anyway, even if we didn’t terminate him, so the termination makes no difference.
Once you file a case, you will have the legal burden of proof to show that you were a “qualified individual with a disability” – i.e. you were able to return to work at some point with or without accommodation
2. Continuously look for job, even if you think you won’t find one.
As a potential claimant in a wrongful termination case, you have the duty to mitigate (minimize) your losses by searching for a comparable job. Keep track of all your job search efforts, including any e-mails you send to potential employers or leads, responses to those e-mails, invitations to interviews, and your own notes of everything you do to find a new job after you have been terminated.
3. Make Sure You Defeat the Employer’s Potential Argument That You Actually Medically Resigned, Rather Than Terminated
If your termination paperwork states that your termination is considered “resignation” or “non punitive” action and you are welcome to re-apply for the job once you are able to return to work, you should absolutely do so. Chances are that the employer will not take you back, if you apply for any available positions for which you are qualified and are not being hired or not even considered, you will late be able to defeat the employer’s claim that they were willing to take you back.