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Terminated while on TDI in Rhode Island

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  • Terminated while on TDI in Rhode Island

    Hi. I was fired after filing for TDI and I was wondering about the laws concerning this. A summary of my situation is as follows:

    I recently found out that I had lymphoma and kept my boss informed of the situation, to the best of my ability, right from the beginning. I had to have some surgery done to remove a lymph node so that the type of lymphoma could be identified. This was on the 10th of this month. After the surgery, I was informed that I wouldn't be able to do any of the heavy lifting that my job requires, so I called my boss to let him know and explain the situation. I told him that I could come back on light duty, but he said I could only come back once I had permission from the doctor could perform all duties associated with the job. I told him I would contact him as soon as I found out more. The following Thursday, I filed for TDI. Tuesday, the 18th, I had an appointment to see my doctor, where I found out I have Hodgkin's, and she wrote a note saying that I have been in her care since the 10th, have been unable to work, and can't start again until Dec 1st. I called my boss and left a message explaining everything, including the diagnosis, and told him to call me with any questions or concerns. I haven't heard anything from him, but I spoke with a trustworthy coworker today who explained to me that they told him I was fired on Friday. Is this legal? How long until my medical insurance is active? Also, can I still collect TDI? Finally, is it legal for them to have talked about any of this with my coworker? Thank you in advance for any assistance, and I apologize for the long winded explanation.

  • #2
    How long have you been off work? The law does not require them to hold your job open indefinitely, even in cases of medical leave.
    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.


    • #3
      I think he's been off since the 10th of this month, unless there was other time out before that.
      I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!


      • #4
        Yes. The 10th of this month was my first day off, due to the surgery.


        • #5
          I wouldn't take any information (even from a trusted co-worker) as accurate. He/she may be telling you what they heard, but where is the source?

          Why don't you call your employer and share your concerns? You may find that you have been stressing over nothing. For your sake I hope so.


          • #6
            I will, of course, be doing so. Assuming, however, that what my coworker says is true, is it legal to fire someone in RI while they are on TDI for the length of time that I have been out of work? Also, there are only 5 employees in the company. The secretary, the foreman, two machine operators (including me), and a shipping and receiving guy, so I know I couldn't be protected under the FMLA.


            • #7
              Since the employer is too small to be subject to the FMLA, then yes, it would be legal to discharge you for absences, even though they were for a perfectly legitimate reason. Sorry, I don't know of any law that is going to protect your position in this situation.
              Last edited by Pattymd; 11-20-2008, 03:41 PM.
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


              • #8
                There is no state where simply collecting disability benefits is a guarantee of job protection indefinitely. It is not collecting disability benefits that provides job protection, it is FMLA.
                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.


                • #9
                  You asked if you could continue to collect TDI after termination. Yes, you can collect R.I. TDI if you are still disabled. The maximum any employee can collect is up to 30 weeks.
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