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Workers comp and position terminated Pennsylvania

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  • Workers comp and position terminated Pennsylvania

    Please excuse the length of this post but I want to make sure that I post all of the facts in order to get a proper answer.
    My friend fractured a disc in his lumbar spine by falling down a set of deteriorating cement steps at work while he was working. He was a fulltime employee that was on probation until he was able to gain residence within the township. He is still on workers comp at this time.
    On tuesday he received a certified letter stating that the board has decided to terminate his fulltime position and would like him to continue working on a part time capacity at the part time wage when he is able to return from his injury. They cancelled his health insurance as of January 31st. Can they do this while he is on workers comp?
    Asside from seeking civil action for the steps does he have any other options?
    This is my personal opinion.

  • #2
    Being on workers comp does not give him a guarantee of lifetime employment.

    How long has he been out of work?
    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.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by madmom View Post
      Please excuse the length of this post but I want to make sure that I post all of the facts in order to get a proper answer.
      Your post was not lengthy. You should see some that we get.

      We still need the answer to cbg's question. Thanks.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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      • #4
        Asside from seeking civil action for the steps does he have any other options?
        Doubt civil action is available here. Filing a claim for WC benefits is generally the exclusive remedy in all states.

        NC has a provision for 10% penalty for neglect in the work place. Doesn't apply in PA though.
        He was a fulltime employee that was on probation until he was able to gain residence within the township.
        I'm going to guess cbg question is in part...how long has he been working there ? To be eligible for unpaid leave under FMLA, which would provide some job protection, an employee would generally have to be working about a year with 1250 hours put in. Does't sound like that is the case here as you mention "probation".
        They cancelled his health insurance as of January 31st. Can they do this while he is on workers comp?
        Yes...but this goes to the FMLA issue again. Under FMLA he would be eligible for up to 12 weeks/annum of job protection and employer paid benefits. As a rule though, employees on probation wouldn't be given GHP/Group Health Plan benefits.
        I think that's where some of your info may be confusing.

        Info on WC in PA is here http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal...=552593&mode=2
        The PA WC Act is here http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal...=553004&mode=2, as you can see, there is a lot to confuse a "non attorney" injured worker. It would be a good idea if he were to consult with a few attys. There is no fee for consult, any fee would have to be approved by a WC judge.

        By the way...PA pays a max of 104 weeks of TTD/Temporary Total Disability benefits.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by cbg View Post
          Being on workers comp does not give him a guarantee of lifetime employment.

          How long has he been out of work?
          He has only been off since september 2010
          This is my personal opinion.

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          • #6
            He has been off since september with the injury. He has worked part time for them for 10 years and was made fulltime over a year ago. He does have the group health insurance and he has been paying into his pension, as well as union dues just like a normal fulltime employee.
            When I questioned about the civil action it is based on the fact that they were told by the code enforcement officer to fix the steps and to put a railing on them because they were against code, but they never fixed them or put up a railing, and they still haven't fixed them as of today.
            This is my personal opinion.

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            • #7
              Even if FMLA applied (and it may or may not have), the Act only provides job protection for 12 weeks, so the employer had already held his job longer than the law required.
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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              • #8
                There are too many variables here...you really, really need to consult with a competant WC attorney.
                There is no fee for consultation, and any fee paid would be based on the amount of impairment/permenant disablity after treatment/recovery. A judge would award the atty fee.

                A good WC atty would also know what laws relate to the potential civil action, and how to proceed with that case. Some states provide for recovery/penalty under the WC codes with an increase in indemnity award. Don't recall if PA is one of those...an atty is necessary here.

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