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Fired While on Disability

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  • Fired While on Disability

    I emailed my immediate manager on 10/1/2007 to inform her that I have not been feeling well. I asked her if I can be excused for the rest of the day. I also informed her that I made a doctor’s appt for 10/4/2007. On 10/4 I went to the doctor. I informed my doctors that I was under a great amount of stress at work. I was suffering from major headache blurry vision and feeling tingles in my fingers. My doctor took me off work for 3 weeks returning back to work on 10/29/2007. My doctor gave me a letter to give to my employer I immediately returned back to work that same day on 10/4 and gave the document to my employer. The payroll director advised me that the HR director was going on vacation staring the following Monday. That she will email me my Mutual of Omaha documents. I didn’t receive the documents until 10/16/2007. The HR director emailed the documents to my personal email. I immediately filled the documents out and went back to the doctor’s office so he could fill out his part. I then returned the paper back to my employer on 10/18/2007. I received an email on 10/26/2007 stating that I was fired. The HR director stated that they had intended to fire me before I went out on disability. The HR director emailed me my termination letter and the separation and agreement document to my personal email. I immediately noticed that my termination was dated for 10/2/2007. When she sent the documents to my email she included a statement stating that they had intended on firing me on 10/5/2007 but I went out on leave. I was terminated for having a bad and uncooperative attitude. I have never been written up for anything. My employee file is clean. I have never received any communication on the incident indicated in the termination letter. Please help me is the legal for them to do this to me

  • #2
    It is suspect, for sure. I take it that by mentioning paperwork, you are talking about FMLA paperwork.
    Please no private messages about your situation.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by moburkes View Post
      It is suspect, for sure. I take it that by mentioning paperwork, you are talking about FMLA paperwork.
      Yes i am talking about the FMLA forms

      Comment


      • #4
        You can be terminated (fired) while on FMLA if you would have been terminated had you not been on FMLA. You can't be terminated though JUST because you are on FMLA/qualify for FMLA.

        I agree with moburkes in that this is suspect. You might want to talk to an employment attorney. (or you could file a complaint with the Wage & Hr. Div. of the DOL)
        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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        • #5
          Originally posted by Betty3 View Post
          You can be terminated (fired) while on FMLA if you would have been terminated had you not been on FMLA. You can't be terminated though JUST because you are on FMLA/qualify for FMLA.

          I agree with moburkes in that this is suspect. You might want to talk to an employment attorney. (or you could file a complaint with the Wage & Hr. Div. of the DOL)
          I am new at this so please forgive me for any confusion. I wasn’t on FMLA. I went out on STD. Mutual of Omaha is a separate source of Disability that employees pay into every pay period. I’ve been doing a lot of research on this topic and I am having a hard time getting concrete answers. Thanks so much for your advice madam. Under what grounds can an employer fire you on leave? Does the “At Will” concept apply? There was no indication that I was going to lose my job before hand. I was told by a co-worker that the CFO, Controller, Assist Controller and the HR Direction had a meeting about terminating me. They offered me a serverance package. I refused the package. The HR director then stated to me "If I offer you a better package would you then consider signing the separation and agreement. I then told her "No". If they felt like they fired me legally why are they going out there way to offer me money. I also think they consulted with the company attorney before letting me go. But I honestly feel that they were advised to make sure I signed the separation and agreement to free them from any liability.

          Comment


          • #6
            FMLA and STD are not mutually exclusive. They can and often do run concurrently. FMLA is unpaid leave time; STD is NOT leave time, but how you get paid while you are on an unpaid leave.

            Contrary to popular belief, the law does NOT prohibit an employer from firing an employee while they are collecting STD benefits. IF the leave for which you are collecting benefits is ALSO FMLA, then you cannot be fired for reasons pertaining to the absence until the FMLA 12 weeks runs out. There is no such protection if FMLA is not in place. So I wouldn't be too quick to disclaim FMLA as it may be the only protection you have.

            Answer a few questions for me, please:

            1.) How long have you worked for this employer?
            2.) In the 12 months immediately preceding your leave, did you work a minimum of 1,250 hours for this employer?
            3.) How many employees does this employer have within 75 miles of your location? If you don't know the exact number, is it over or under 50?
            4.) Did your employer know the nature of your medical condition prior to the start of your leave?
            5.) How much time, total, have you missed so far?
            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


            • #7
              I have been employed by this company since 8/2006. Yes i have worked 1250 hours. There are over 50 employees in the 75 mile radius. My manager knew that i was suffering from headaches thats not the first time that i told her i had a bad headache. I left work early before for the same thing and she asked me are you going to the doctor. I was only off work for 3 weeks. At first they had one of my co-workers doing my desk. When i was off she would call me to get intructions on how to do certain tasks. Then they hired a temp and fired me.

              How can you intend to fire someone. What is stopping them from firing that person. If that was the case why am i collecting STD instead of unemployment. Why is my termination letter dated for 10/2. I worked 10/3 and 10/4. I am just not understanding this @ all.

              Comment


              • #8
                STD has nothing to do with unemployment. You seem to be very confused on what each term means - FMLA, STD, unemployment benefits, etc.
                Please no private messages about your situation.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm not confused sorry if I am not making myself clear. I thought you can only collect STD if you had a job. Furthermore I thought you collect Unemployed when you have been terminated from a job. My last day of employment was on 10/4 my HR director back dated my termination to 10/2. I stated if If was fired on 10/2 I should be collecting unemployment not STD.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It is not true that STD benefits automatically stop when your employment does. It is entirely possible that disability benefits can continue after you are no longer employed if your disability has continued. Particularly in states like CA, where there is a state disability program.

                    The eligibility requirements for UI and disability are, for the most part, mutually exclusive. If you are still medically unable to work, you should still be able to collect disability in most cases. But in that case, you would not be eligible for UI, which requires that you be able to work, actively looking for work, and available to accept work if offered.

                    On the other hand, if you are eligible to collect unemployment, that presumes that you are well enough to work, and thus ineligible for disability benefits.
                    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
                      STD will usually pay if you were employed the day you became disabled. UC is only available if you are ready and able to work. If your doctor wrote you off work for 3 weeks then it would not apply until after you had been released to resume work.

                      If all those folks met about your termination and the only reason it did not occur was because you went on leave, it looks a lot less like retaliation. You still may want to consult a lawyer especially if you are being asked to sign a labor release. It is always a good idea to have it reviewed by a lawyer to make sure you understand the terms.
                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If i wasn't retailation then why did they email documents to recieve Mutual of Omaha compensation on 10/16. My termination letter is dated for 10/2 I went home early on 10/1 due to my illness. I told her i made and doctor's appt for 10/4. . My Mutual of Omaha documents allows my employer to see the diagnosis from the doctor. I didnt get fired unitl they read those documents. I have an email from the HR director on 10/16 asking me if I was returning back to work as indicated on the doctor's note which is 10/29. She also asked me if I was returning on a different date to please inform her. This all took place before they got those Mutual of Omaha documents.Now if they had intended on firing me why is she asking me if I was returning back to work.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Then talk to an attorney. None of us work there and so would have no idea why they took the actions they did, when they did. We can only give you general advice based on what you share. It isn't clear when the meeting with everyone deciding your fate took place. If it was before you went out then it weakens any claim that you were only terminated because you took leave. If it was after that fact, then it still isn't a slam dunk, but it appears more reasonable that it could be related to your leave.
                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thank you madam

                            Comment

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