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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Can my employer terminate me while i am out on disability.

Resolved Question:

I originally went out on FMLA and short term disability April 24th for medical reasons. My short term disability ended October 24th and I was waiting for the long term disability ruling whether I was approved or not for it. I just found out that I was terminated by my employer on November 1st. I was never informed of this by phone call, letter or email. I found out accidentaly when i went to fill a prescription and they told me my health insurance ended.

My place of employment is in Bronx, NY.

Can they terminate me while i was waiting for the long term disability ruling?
Please help. Any advice is appreciated.

Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.

FMLA protection lasts a maximum of 12 weeks. If by short/long term disability, you refer to an insurance benefit, other than workers' compensation insurance, then, yes, the employer can terminate your employment.

 

If your referring to workers' compensation benefits, then you could still be terminated as long as the termination is not due to your filing for workers' compensation benefits.

 

You may have a claim against the employer for failing to notify you of your rights to COBRA benefits, but that wouldn't get you reinstated to employment.

 

 

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I am sorry. I do not understand what you mean by insurance benefits.

I went out on FMLA and submitted all the appropriate paperwork to go out on disability. The short term disability was contracted out by my employer to Zurich.

After 6 months were up I was then informed by the Benefits department at my job that another company is contracted to handle my long term disability and that i did not need to do anything except fill out the paperwork sent to me by the long term disability company who will handle my claim.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides for unpaid family leave, for medical or family caregiver reasons, of up to 12 weeks under federal law. Short or long term disability has no application to the FMLA.

 

So, if your employer provided you with additional benefits which outlived your 12 week FMLA leave, there was no impediment to your termination from employment after the expiration of the 12 weeks -- this, despite the employer's continuing contractual obligation to maintain your short term benefits.

 

 

Terms and Conditions: By your continuing in this conversation with me, or by your clicking "Accept", you are expressly agreeing to all of the following: (1) our communication is for entertainment purposes only; (2) you are not consulting me in my professional capacity as an attorney; (3) you do not seek to establish an attorney-client relationship with me, nor do I with you; (4) you will not rely on anything I say and you will obtain appropriate legal counsel via a traditional/office consultation with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where your legal issue arises (and you may not use our communication to avoid taxpayer penalties imposed by the U.S. Dept. of Treasury); (5) by communicating with me in this public forum you are irrevocably waiving any right to privacy, confidentiality and attorney-client privilege concerning the matters discussed. You further separately declare that any payment made by you is not consideration for this contract, nor offered for any services rendered by me on your behalf, but rather is made in genuine admiration and respect for my desire to help others. If you do not agree with these terms and conditions, then you must advise me immediately.

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