Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Can you be fired while ill, and does your health ins. and Disability just stop?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    18

    Default Can you be fired while ill, and does your health ins. and Disability just stop?

    I need advice from anyone who knows anything that might help about South Carolina Labor laws. I may need to have surgery. I have reason to believe that they will fire me if I have to be off work. I have worked with this horrible company for 6 months. The doctor had considered putting me in the hospital for treatment, when I talked to the HR manager, he said, " you haven't worked her long enough to qualify for FMLA." I am an exempt salaried employee. My health insurance and disability insurance are paid through my employer. Can they fire me while I am out on medical or if I tell them I have to schedule surgery, and does my health insurance and disability insurance just stop if they do fire me? Do I have any rights here? My understanding of FMLA is simply that they have to hold your job for you. So, his comment about FMLA, made it clear that they do not have to hold my job. I have already seen them fire one person that was sick. He had surgery, came back to work and was doing well, then I heard he was having some complications and the next thing I knew he was fired. He had prostrate cancer, now he has no job, no health insurance, and no disability? Does anyone have any advice? There is no doubt in my mind that they are capable of firing me because and while I am ill. I have an 80/20 % ppo through the company and am already up to my ears in medical bills, if I do have to have surgery, it will even be worse, but if my disability and medical insurance go away, I will truely be lost. Help please.
    Last edited by pip48; 10-22-2006 at 07:38 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,416

    Default Cobra

    Under COBRA, you have the right to continue your insurance. However, you must pay a different amount yourself (out of pocket). Contact your carrier to find out the terms and amounts. The contact information should be on page 2 of your insurance manual.

    Here is a site that contains information.

    http://jobsearchtech.about.com/od/la...l/aa031003.htm

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    18

    Default So all insurances go away?

    So, are you saying that they have a right to fire me, and all the insurances do go with the job? The insurance companys are not obligated to finish paying for a condition that you had while you were insured? I know about Cobra, and I know that it is very expensive. Without an income, it would be very difficult to pay the price for Cobra. So, all a company has to do is to fire anyone that gets Ill and the disability and medical insurances don't get used? What is the point of having them?
    Last edited by pip48; 10-22-2006 at 08:23 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,416

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pip48 View Post
    So, are you saying that they have a right to fire me, and all the insurances do go with the job? The insurance companys are not obligated to finish paying for a condition that you had while you were insured? I know about Cobra, and I know that it is very expensive. Without an income, it would be very difficult to pay the price for Cobra. So, all a company has to do is to fire anyone that gets Ill and the disability and medical unsurances don't get used? What is the point of having them?
    You do not have a right to employment. Sorry, but that is a fact

    If you can show a pattern, perhaps there is a legal way to get back at this company. It would be long and expensive, but is has happened. I believe recently that WalMart was involved in something like this. It took a long time and many examples.

    I wish there was an easy answer to your situation.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    18

    Default Unbelievable?

    I recently moved to South Carolina from California, where things are very different. I guess, I am ... in shock that things can really work like this. When I was job hunting, my priorities were both health insurance and disability insurance. I now realize that in this state they are a bit of a farce. The company that I am working for also has great paid holidays and two full weeks vacation the first year. After being there as a salary "exempt" employee for six months, I realize that all of this is a farce. I work ridiculous hours, and depending on the time of the month that the holidays fall, I work those too, with no extra pay, and everyone gets paid for their vacations, but no one gets to take them. Now, I find that your health insurance is only there if you really don't get sick, and your disability is there only if you don't use it. Although, I did read another thread that said the disability may continue even if you are fired. Does that sound right to you?

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    31,876

    Default

    Here's the deal. If you haven't been there long enough to qualify for FMLA job protection, yes, they can fire you.

    If your condition qualifies you as temporarily disabled while you are still employed, in most cases, the disability policy will continue to pay whether you are employed or not. But you'll have to check the policy or Summary Plan Description to confirm this. You are entitled to a copy of the SPD; ask HR for it.

    Regarding insurance, when coverage ends in relation to your termination of employment, it's about half and half as far as what the plan provides for; some companies, it ends on your termination date and some, it ends on the last day of your termination month. Again, the SPD for the plan should state this.

    Under COBRA, you have the right to continue your insurance at 100% of the total cost (the employee AND the employer cost), plus a 2% administrative fee, if the company chooses to charge it (not all companies do).

    Why do you think you will be fired? Is it possible you might get a leave of absence for your surgery? Can't hurt to ask.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    916

    Default

    This will have no bearing on your right to employment, disability, or insurance, but what is it EXACTLY you do for a living?

  8. #8
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    37,569

    Default

    If you don't qualify for protected medical leave, you can be fired in California, too. Nowhere does being ill automatically grant job protection. Even with FMLA, which you do not qualify for if you have only worked there 6 months, the maximum an employer has to hold your job is 12 weeks. It is a myth that you cannot be fired while on medical leave. You can. In all 50 states.

    When your benefits will end is dependent on the terms of the policies.

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    18

    Default Getting fired for taking off for surgery

    I feel that they will fire me because, #1, my doctor considered putting me in the hospital for treatment. I spoke to the HR manager asking how much vacation that I had accrued, thinking maybe I could just take vacation days. He didn't even respond to the vacation question. He responded with, " you haven't worked her long enough to qualify for FMLA." #2 they have already fired someone else in similar curcumstances. This company is truely the worst company that I have ever worked for. The things that I have seen them do to people are just awful. One Manager, went on a weeks vacation with the blessing of his boss, the Assistant General Manager. He returned to find the Assistant General Manager demoted and that he had been replaced, I mean someone else was all moved into his office. He was told to move all of his things to a cubicle and they would have time to talk to him the following day. He walked around for a whole day not knowing whether he was fired or not. He is the only person that I have seen actually take a vacation. All exempt employees lose their vacation if they don't take it in the calandar year. This is the kind of thing that might happen to you if you dare take your vacation. We all work ridiculous hours. I mean I have seen people work 24 hours straight. I have come to work and found people who where there when I left yesterday in the same clothes. The company has something like 18 paid holidays and most peope have to work them anyway. All of the benefits that on paper look great, really don't exist. Just like the disability and health insurance. Now if I had been there more than a year, they wouldn't be able to do this. The previous HR manager had prostrate cancer and had surgery, he was off work for about 3 weeks, he came back and was doing real well, then I heard that he was having some complications, he was at work everyday despite it, but the next thing I knew they fired him.
    Because he had been there over a year, I think the first surgery they couldn't do much about, but when they heard there were complications they fired him before they had to payout anything more toward his illness. This company owns their own Health insurance company. They are a huge international company. I have spoken to someone who holds a substantial postion in the company from another plant and she feels that my fears are probably pretty realistic, with the current management group. I am about to schedule a test that has been put off because of the dangers of it causing something to happen that would require emergency surgery. My condition is not improving and the worst case is surgery, so the doctor feels we should go ahead witht he test and take the risk, as surgery is where I seem to be headed anyway. That is why I am so concerned about this. This is a terrible position to be in.

    To answer the other question. I am in the accounting department. I do Account Payable for this plant. It is the automotive industry.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Danbury, Connecticut
    Posts
    12

    Default

    I am brand new to these forums, and I am absolutely stunned. As a trade unionist, I obviously knew that these types of things were happening to working people every day, but what an impact to read their actual stories, in their own words, to hear the suffering and hopelessness.

    While it will not help any specific person with their current problems here, as a nation we have to start getting serious about workers organizing into unions for their own protection and self-preservation, and national sinlge payer health insurance that is portable from job-to-job.
    Mother Jones
    "I'm not a lady, I'm a hellraiser !"

    www.cilu.org

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    31,876

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by motherjones View Post
    I am brand new to these forums, and I am absolutely stunned. As a trade unionist, I obviously knew that these types of things were happening to working people every day, but what an impact to read their actual stories, in their own words, to hear the suffering and hopelessness.

    While it will not help any specific person with their current problems here, as a nation we have to start getting serious about workers organizing into unions for their own protection and self-preservation, and national sinlge payer health insurance that is portable from job-to-job.
    Others have different thoughts about unions. I have worked now for about 18 months as a high-level manager for a department of 20 for a totally unionized employer and the entitlement mentality of many of my employees would also "stun" you.

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    18

    Default How about just some sensible programs regarding Health issues

    Our Labor Laws in regard to illness and the health insurance stucture, is part of our health insurance problems. The whole set up is doomed to fail for the really ill. We work, our health insurance is through that employment. So, as long as we do not become so ill that we can't work, we have health insurance. But, the moment someone is so ill that they cannot work, they become a burden to our society. This is how our system is set up. It is the people who are really ill that need to be covered by health insurance, but our system is set up to leave them out in the cold. Most people do not go from healthy productive working people to death. There is usually a serious illness and a battle using modern medicine,that preceeds that death. These are just facts, and our system is not stuctured to recognize these facts. We have this huge gap, in this country for a large group of people. These are the people that are ending up in our county hospitals, or on welfare health programs, if the state that they live in even has such a thing. The general public is led to believe that these are a bunch of lazy low lifes taking advantage of society. Well they are not. They are middle class people who have worked all their lives, always had health insurance, and been a productive member of society, gotten older and become ill before they qualified for Medicare. We know about this group of people, but we have not seen to it that there is a way for these people to cover themselves with health care coverage. I am part of the baby boom generation and we are the largest living generation in the US. We are hitting this point, the point where we are falling into that gap. I might add that we are the only developed country in the world that has choosen to ignore this problem. Personally, I believe that nations should be judged by how well they care for their ill and aged. In my mind it is a moral issue and our country is displaying a low moral conscience with our current structure. I beleive that our whole purpose on this earth is to care for one another. I live in the richest and most powerful country in the world and if I get so ill in the next 7 years that I cannot work, I am lost. Sitting here looking at the this possiblility, I cannot see any action that I can take to insure that I don't end up there. I am not weathly, most of us are not, I have some retirement, but certainly not enough to pay the price of single health insurance coverage for myself and still live. I must rely on the health insurance provided by my employer, without an employer, I have none. I am not so ill that I can't work, I am only looking at time off work that someone else might call vacation to care for myself, and our laws are such that I may end up with no income and no health insurance, and our laws support the employers actions. Union, or non union, I don't know that that is the answer, but I do know that our sturcture is not working. It seems that they only way we can afford to pay for health coverage in this country is leave a huge portion of the population without it. I am a single mother who has worked every day of her life and raised two children to productive adulthood without one dime from any government agency, it has taken just about every cent I could earn to give those children a proper raising and I am very proud of my life and my accomplishments, despite the fact that my retirement savings is not much. But, I will be fine as far as living, but health care coverage I have no hope of obtaining unless I make it to Medicare. So the next seven years of my life is a gamble on my health. I just pray that my children do not have to watch their mother die for lack of health care. I hope that I don't have to become a burden on society either. But, truely, If I did become so ill that I couldn't work before 65, there are no options that are affordable to me. I am not alone, as part of the baby boomer generation, there are a ton of us and as aware as our government is of this problem, they are turning a blind eye to it.
    Lois

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    7,179

    Default

    I appreciate that your situation is grave, and I am truly sorry that you are going through this.

    However, socialized medicine is not the answer. At the very least, don't forget that countries that already have socialized medicine have much higher tax rates than we do. Additionally, there is a thriving practice in the UK and Sweden (two countries I have considerable experience in) in private medical services paid by patients out of pocket. This is because the private medical community is such a better quality.
    Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

    I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

    Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    18

    Default My point is that it is not just MY situation.

    This is not an isolated situation, this is a whole chunk of society that is omitted from health care. Yes, they have higher taxes, but they are buying something with the tax. Something that our economy can't provide at a price that is afforable to the average income individual. We have socialized medicine in this country, but limited to a segment of society. It is medicare, and it is working. Do you realize that health care issues control peoples lives. If you have a child with a medical condition that is on going, you end up stuck in a job, because it is a pre-existing condition and you can't risk no health care for the child for what, sometimes 24 months? People have situations like this and the company closes, through no fault of their own they have to find a new job, and they have a child with serious health care issues with no coverage. The list of situations where people are left without health care, or stuck in a situation where they cannot further their careers, or make positive changes in their lives because of the stucture is huge. My current situation involves only situation, there are many more. I had a situation years ago, where the insurance company that I was covered under went bankrupt. I happen to have been left with about 1500. in medical bills. A person that worked in my doctors office, that had the same insurance had just had surgery, her debt was 32,000! This stuff happens to people everyday in our system. My problem at that time was that I had a condition that needed care and the new insurance had a 24 month pre-existing condition clause. I could not be seen by a doctor for 24 months for that condition. As far as private pratices for those that can afford it, that is fine. We have socialize education in this country, it is one of the things that sets us apart from all other nations. No matter how poor your family is you have the opportunity of an education. There are private schools all over the country for those that can afford it. Is private school superior to public, yes in most cases. That is fine. We are on a message board that is titled Labor Laws, we are talking about medicine and health coverage. The two shouldn't be so realted, the real facts are that the really ill, with the greatest need for health coverage often are the ones that cannot work. Don't you see that, that is the irony of our system. And what about the burden that is placed on the employers? Do you think for one moment that we do not pay for the employers share of health insurance, for their cost in holding a job open under FMLA? We pay through lower wages, we pay through working more hours as an exempt employee with no pay. We pay for it all. So, what is the difference of paying it through a tax, or through our wages. The biggest arguement against socialized medicine is that the government isn't very efficient. Well... insurance companies are for profit, so if the govenment wastes the amount of money that falls to profit for the insurance companies, and everyone has health care all the time, I am for it. Our current system is controlling peoples lives and is costing a fortune in social programs that are trying to care for those segments of society that are falling through the cracks in the system. Those groups of people falling through the cracks are growing in numbers as the baby boomers age. This problem has existed for a long time, but the aging baby boomers are bringing it to crisis point. I work with many Canadians and Germans and they don't seem to have any problem with their taxes or their health care. In fact they have the attitude that this is an area that the US is retarted. Just one group of people but that is how they put it.
    One persons opinion.
    Lois

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    31,876

    Default

    And don't you also see, pip48, that this is NOT a site to espouse your political views. If you want to rant and rave, go to a chat room. Or lobby your legislators. But nobody is going to read your diatribes here; that's not what this site is for.

  16. #16
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    37,569

    Default

    I think this thread has served its purpose.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •