It’s not often that Hollywood directors encounter employment issues. After all, we tend to hear about them when they sign on to helm multi-million dollar films or are nominated for Oscar awards. However, the story surrounding director Bryan Singer’s recent firing exemplifies legal issues that many employees could possibly relate to.

According to a recent latimes.com report, Singer was relieved of his duties in directing “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the upcoming biopic about Freddy Mercury, the frontman for the British rock group Queen.  20th Century Fox released a statement indicating that Singer was no longer the director of the film, which is still in production. 

Signer reportedly failed to report to the set on Sunday, which allegedly caused the studio to halt production as it made arrangements to secure another director. A representative for Singer explained that his absence was due to a “personal health matter concerning (Singer) and his family.”

In many circumstances, an employee will have enough sick time or personal time saved in order to tend to personal emergencies involving family members. Federal law also allows for employees to take unpaid leave through the Family Medical Leave Act.

While Singer’s explanation may appear to be a reasonable excuse for a temporary absence, other media reports indicate that Singer was already in potential jeopardy for his tenuous relationship with the film’s star, Rami Malek. Nevertheless, this may become a fact question should the dismissal lead to legal action.

If you are being threatened with termination or have been fired due to an absence stemming from a family emergency, an experienced employment law attorney can advise you of your rights and options.