My Employer Fired Me for Being Sick, What Should I Do?

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm, is not licensed to practice law, and is not equivalent to the services of a licensed lawyer. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help, and does not offer legal services. Third party news articles mentioned on our website do not necessarily reflect the views of the company, or the current services that we offer.

My Employer Fired Me for Being Sick, What Should I Do?

Up to 24% of Americans don’t have access to paid sick leave, which amounts to 33.6 million people. Many more don’t even know they can get paid and feel forced to go to work or stay in the office when feeling under the weather.

Your employer may not offer pay for going on sick leave, but does that mean they can fire you for it, and what are your options if they do? The question you should ask yourself is—can I send demand letters to my employer if I'm fired for being sick?

In this article, we’ll explain:

  1. What laws mandate sick leave
  2. What recourse do you have to contest sick employee termination
  3. How to to:
    1. Submit a sick leave request
    2. Demand compensation instantly

Sick Leave Laws

The federal law doesn’t offer any permanent paid sick leave rules, but you can still rely on:

  1. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  2. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)
  3. State and county laws


The FMLA offers job-protected, unpaid sick leave that allows you to take 12 weeks off within 12 months of work. Bear in mind that not all companies and employees are subject to this act.


If you test positive for Coronavirus, the EPSLA requires that your employer give you a 10-day paid leave so that you can quarantine. This is a temporary act that is in use during the COVID-19 pandemic.

State and County Laws

While the federal law doesn’t regulate paid sick leave (outside of Coronavirus), some states do, but only 15 of them (plus the District of Columbia). Other states have counties that have enacted local laws about paid leave. Check out the table below for articles about state laws:

CaliforniaArizonaPennsylvaniaNorth Carolina
MichiganFloridaVirginiaNew York
WashingtonColoradoVermontRhode Island
New JerseyDistrict of ColumbiaOhioGeorgia

Can My Employer Fire Me for Being Sick?

While it may be unfair, disease-based termination is not always illegal. Your employer can fire you if:

  • No state law is in place
  • Your sick leave is not related to COVID-19
  • The FMLA doesn’t affect them
  • Your sickness is affecting your work
  • Reasonable accommodation doesn't improve your productivity

Avoid Getting Fired in the First Place—Call In Sick via DoNotPay

When you ask for sick leave, are you aware of what laws and rules you can rely on to have your request accepted? Employers can deny any request easily if they feel they are in no obligation to approve them.

That’s why you should call upon the exact law or contract term that allows you to go on sick leave. DoNotPay will help you draft a professional request letter instead of writing a clumsy email on your own.

Once you and select the Request Sick Leave tool, all you need to do is:

  1. Insert the state the company is in so that we can show you what sick leave laws are in place (if any)
  2. Answer our chatbot’s questions about the company
  3. Enter the dates on which you’ll be absent from work
  4. Choose whether you want DoNotPay to:
    1. Send the request to your employer directly
    2. Share it with you so you can email it on your own

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