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laid off/work comp Massachusetts

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  • laid off/work comp Massachusetts

    My problem is complicated. Last August I went out on W.C. til the week of Christmas. When I went to back to work I was 100% fine. Well, within a couple of months I was having my problem again and in March was back on W.C. Recently W.C. sent me to an independent Dr. and he said I was fine to return to full duty no restrictions, (even though I was still in pain). W.C. discontinued my case and sent me back to work. Tuesday of this week I returned to work full time. Thursday, (yesterday)I had to call out because the meds I'm on make me foggy and groggy sometimes and that day I was. Today I went in and within 2 hours my boss handed me my lay off papers.
    I spoke to W.C. and they are still paying for my Dr.s visits and my meds. I'm just not getting any $$ from them. My Dr. says that I can work in time but will be limited as to what I can do. I probably will not be able to survive on unemployment as when on W.C. I could pay my bills. Where do I go from here? What are my rights, if any at all?
    Also, vacation pay
    Our vacation is different than most. If we take our vacation prior to the end of July, we will get paid for it when we take it, if we take the vacation after, we get paid for it in the at the end of July. Ex: If I take my vacation in Feb I get paid for it then, if I take it in November I already got paid for it in July.
    Am I still entilted to my Vacation pay?
    I will also add that I 100% believe I was laid off because of the W.C. issue. I know that business is slow now but only temp. I was my bosses prized employee, saving the company there biggest client while working 50-55 hours per week. They had to hire 2 and at one time 3 people to do the job that I was doing alone.
    Thank you for any and all input on this

  • #2
    What reason were you given for being terminated? Was anyone else laid off? Why do you think it was because of your WC claim as it was quite some time later?

    I'd file for UC and you should get it. WC/ TTD is generally not paid if you are able to work and are off for a reason other than work related disability.

    I believe MA requires your employer pay out unused vacation at termination.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply ElleMD. I was the only one laid off. I was only back to work, off WC, for 3 days before getting laid off. I do know that when I got back we were slow with incoming orders, however I also know that the orders would have been coming in VERY soon. My boss told me that because we were slow and the other 2 (newer) employees knew how to do more things than I, was the reason he laid me off. I certainly wasn't the only one in the shop with almost nothing to do.
      The boss even made up a "list" on things for me and my direct co-worker to do; sweep the driveway, pick up cigarette butts, weed (in 100 deg. weather).
      I just have been treated like crap when I came back fro WC the first time and the second. By the boss and the co- workers. I also believe this was planned to lay me off.
      I would like to just get over all this, but I'm finding that I am still having problems and don't see any end to this.


      • #4
        However, if it was slow and someone needed to be laid off and the others had skills you did not, it was not illegal to term you. You don't have to like the decision or agree with it. It seems to be based on current business conditions and the person chosen for a perfectly legitimate reason. I mean there are only so many people you need to pay to sweep the driveway until things pick up. It stinks, but it appears to be valid and legal.
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


        • #5
          Just as an FYI, MA law does not prohibit an employee with a workers comp claim from being fired (as long as they are not fired BECAUSE they filed a workers comp claim). However, MA law does require that if your employer should later have an opening for which you are qualified after you are medically released to return to work, they are obligated to give you preference in hiring. (They are NOT required to make up a job for you, and they are NOT required to hire you for a job that you are not qualified for - only to give you preference for any jobs for which you are qualified and that legitimately open up.)
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.