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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 32894
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I recently returned to work from a 3-month leave of absence

Resolved Question:

I recently returned to work from a 3-month leave of absence for fibromyalgia. When I was to return, my company stalled for 5 weeks before getting back to me and the LOA dept finally told me they could meet my doctor's new restriction of a 4 day work week with 3 days at home and one in the office at my full former pay and benefit package. I returned to work and when the HR dept went to update my status in the computer system they saw a conflict with 32 hours being part time. A week later they told me that I was to receive PT pay & benefits, a -27-44% total annual income loss depending on how you do the math. They told me that because it was the 31st my FT health benefits would end immediately, leaving me with no current insurance. What I am I entitled to regarding the insurance - at least a warning of termination? Up until this point they had reasonably accommodated me to work from home 2-3 days a week and I had received only positive reviews and feedback from superiors and co-workers. What is my best course of action?


(The below should state I have NO further desire to work at the company)
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
The only resolution for your problem is to increase your work schedule to full time, whatever minimum number of hours that may be under your employer's policies. There is no requirement that your employer provide you with benefits different that would be available to any other employee in your circumstances. So, if you are part time, then you can be denied full-time benefits.

Thus, the obvious and only solution is to adjust your schedule to the minimum number of hours that would provide you with full-time benefits.

Hope this helps.


And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id on the title line of your question (“ToCustomerrdquo;), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am physically unable to work full-time and already quit this job. I am wondering if CA Labor Code Section 2806 would apply to this situation as they told me I had fulltime benefits upon my return did not give me notice that my benefits were ending nor that I would be part-time until they made that decision a week later.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
First, almost every large employer is exempt from Labor Code 2806, via subsection (c), because their plans are all covered by ERISA.

Second, if you quit your employment, then you would also have provided the employer with an exemption under subsection (a) ("not inclusive of employment termination").

So, Labor Code 2806 cannot protect you, based upon your stated facts.

You could conceivably argue you relied to your detriment on the employer's misrepresentation of your benefits, and therefore, you have an express employment contract that grants you continuing healthcare benefits.

But, to make this case, you will need a lawyer, because that is a pure breach of contract action, and not something that either the U.S. Department of Labor or the Cal. Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

For an employment rights lawyer referral, see this link. For free/low cost legal aid, see this link.

Hope this helps.


And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id on the title line of your question (“ToCustomerrdquo;), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!

socrateaser, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 32894
Experience: Retired (mostly)
socrateaser and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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