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Pennsylvania FMLA/STD

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  • Pennsylvania FMLA/STD

    Background info: I have been out of work since July 21, on FMLA which is up on October 19 After doing the most conservative treatment available such as muscle relaxers, antiinflammatory and three epidural steroid injections. I had an MRI done, unfortunetly the Dr. at the MRI center who read my MRI did not read it correctly according to my orthopedic surgeon, I not only have one bulging disc but two and my L5 is not moderatly degenerative but greatly degenerative which is giving me sciatic pain, numbness and tingling in my left leg.

    I am scheduled to have surgery on the L5/S1 on December 3 called Anterior lumbar Fusion and a cage for support.

    My question is that I have recently gotten a letter from HR and it states that my FMLA is over and now I will be on Short Disability for another 3 months in the mean time my job will no longer be secured but I am still covered. However if I need to go onto Long term disability I will be terminated. What are my rights as an employee under the law? Can my employer fire me while I am on disbility?

  • #2
    Yes, once your FMLA is up your employer is no longer required to hold your job. Collecting disabilty benefits does not provide you with any job protection at all - only FMLA provides job benefits. It is a myth - a widely believed myth, but a myth just the same, that you cannot be terminated as long as you are collecting disabilty benefits/under a doctor's care.

    BTW, "disability" is not leave. It is how you get paid while you are on leave.

    FYI, your employer is actually doing more than the law requires by holding your job, even unprotected, for another three months. They could term you as soon as your FMLA is up on Oct. 19, and that would be legal.
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      FMLA is what protects your job. Not STD and not LTD. Yes, they can legally let you go if you are not able to return to work once your FMLA time is exhausted. The company is already going to do more than the law requires by maintaing you as an inactive employee during your STD payments. You're already on STD, right?
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

      Comment


      • #4
        Pennsylvania FMLA/STD

        Please don't get me wrong I am grateful that my company has FMLA and STD. Yes I am on STD starting Monday, They are no longer holding my job at this point. When I return to work after the STD is over if my job is still available I will go back into that job if not they will place me another one that I am suitable for or I can post for another job.

        I did not know that they could terminate employment while be on medical leave. Its like kicking someone when they are down and out already. But I do understand that it protects companies from fraudulent behavior.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Brandy13 View Post
          I did not know that they could terminate employment while be on medical leave. Its like kicking someone when they are down and out already.
          Many times for business reasons it's just not possible to hold an employee's job for an extended period of time.
          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

          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

          Comment


          • #6
            Pennsylvania FMLA/STD

            Thank you for all of your answers

            Comment


            • #7
              You're welcome.
              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

              Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

              Comment


              • #8
                Pennsylvania FMLA/STD

                I need help understanding LTD and also why if I pay for this out of my paycheck why would my employer terminate my employment?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Because only FMLA protects your job up to 12 weeks. STD & LTD are just how you get paid when you are out on leave. You can be terminated after your 12 weeks are up.
                  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

                  Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Because your employer needs to have someone in your chair getting the work done. It is notalways feasible, from a business point of view, to have someone on extended leave. There comes a time when the employer cannot support paying benefits, workers comp, unemployment, etc. (all of which continue on even an unpaid leave) for someone who is not making any contribution and needs to put that investment towards someone who is currently able to contribute to the bottom line.

                    The Federal government has determined that 12 weeks represents a reasonable compromise between the rights of the employer and the rights of the employee.
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Brandy13 View Post
                      I need help understanding LTD

                      and also why if I pay for this out of my paycheck why would my employer terminate my employment?
                      The two issues are exclusive of one another.

                      We don't know why, or if, your employer may end your relationship.

                      But, you might be interested in this Q&A from the IRS...
                      Question: I am receiving long-term disability. Is it considered taxable?


                      Answer: You must report as income any amount you receive for your disability through an accident or health insurance plan paid for by your employer:
                      If both you and your employer have paid the premiums for the plan, only the amount you receive for your disability that is due to your employer’s payments is reported as income.
                      If you pay the entire cost of a health or accident insurance plan, do not include any amounts you receive for your disability as income on your tax return.
                      If you pay the premiums of a health or accident insurance plan through a cafeteria plan, and the amount of the premium was not included as taxable income to you, the premiums are considered paid by your employer, and the disability benefits are fully taxable.
                      If the amounts are taxable, you can submit a Form W-4S (PDF), Request for Federal Income Tax Withholding, to the insurance company, or
                      Make estimated tax payments by filing Form 1040-ES (PDF), Estimated Tax for Individuals.
                      Amounts you receive from your employer while you are sick or injured are part of your salary or wages.

                      Report the amount you receive on the line for Wages, salaries, tips, etc., on Form 1040 (PDF); Form 1040A (PDF); Form 1040EZ (PDF).
                      You must include in your income sick pay from any of the following:

                      A welfare fund.
                      A state sickness or disability fund.
                      An association of employers or employees.
                      An insurance company, if your employer paid for the plan.
                      Payments you receive from qualified long-term care insurance contracts will generally be excluded from income as reimbursement of medical expenses received for personal injury or sickness under an accident and health insurance contract. Also, certain payments received under a life insurance contract on the life of a terminally or chronically ill individual (accelerated death benefits) can be excluded from income. Refer to Publication 907, Tax Highlights for Persons with Disabilities.
                      BTW ... eventually we may see the premiums paid by employers for health, disability, and accident plans to be fully taxable as 'income'. Depending on how the health care reform package is resolved, these employee 'benefits' we have enjoyed will be treated as 'earned income'.

                      Disability income benefits paid by a Workers Compensation plan are NOT taxable at the state or federal level.

                      (the bold and underline here are emphysis added by me)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Pennsylvania FMLA/STD

                        Thank you for the info on the LTD. I was told that I would be covered under LTD but they would terminate my employment, and when I am fully recovered from my surgery that I could reapply to the company? I understand that they need to fill my job to get someone in to do the work, but why isn't LTD treated like STD where they would still employ me and then when I return I could either go back into my position or apply for one that I am compatible with. This is where I am confused as to what the difference is between STD and LTD.
                        Thanks

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          NEITHER short term disability or long term disabilty provides you with any kind of job protection. FMLA,and only FMLA, provides you with job protection.

                          What may be confusing you is that FMLA runs concurrently with STD. Since FMLA only runs for 12 weeks, and since STD benefits generally only runs for between 13 and 26 weeks, FMLA has long since expired by the time LTD comes along. Your employer could, had they chosen to, have terminated your employment on week 13, day 1 of your leave, even if STD benefits were still running. (Neither STD nor LTD is leave; it is how you get paid while you are on leave.) The maximum medical leave your employer is required to provide, is 12 weeks. Your employer has gone beyond what they are required to do, but they are not prepared to hold it for the duration of LTD and they are not required to do so.
                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Agree, there is no difference between STD & LTD in regard to job protection - neither protects your job. Only FMLA protects your job & then only up to 12 weeks.

                            As said previously, STD & LTD are not leave - only how you get paid when you are on leave.
                            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

                            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Pennsylvania FMLA/STD

                              Yes if FMLA and STD run concurrently how many weeks is STD for? If STD starts on October 19. When would my STD end?

                              Comment

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