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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19779
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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Can an employee be terminated while on LTD in an at will

Customer Question

Can an employee be terminated while on LTD in an at will state?
I live in Dallas was injured in a car accident suffered a concussion. Tried to continue working and completed FMLA paperwork. I finally had so many cognitive and distibular issues that I went on STD. Had ti go on LTD immediately after that and was terminated the following month. However, my termination date was back dated to the previous month. Is this legal?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

Thank you for the information and your question. The answer to your question of whether an employee may be terminated while on LTD depends. I say that because normally once FMLA has been exhausted there is no further job protection for the employee under that statute, which means unless there is a contract or written policy that states differently the employer may terminate any employee who can no meet their attendance standards or policies. That said, if the employee asks for a reasonable accommodation under the ADA by way of more time off for recovery, the employer must determine if they can do so without causing an undue hardship on the business. If they can, then they must accommodate them.

That means that if you feel that your employer either did not make that determination or wrongly determined that accommodating you would cause an undue hardship, you can either file a complaint with the EEOC or you can find a local employment law attorney who can assist you in filing suit for wrongful termination under the reasonable accommodation portion of the ADA.

If the employer though did act within the law, they could backdate the termination date to the date that FMLA expired.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. If none is needed, then if you could take a moment to leave a positive rating in the box above, I will receive credit for assisting you today. Thank you.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 19th. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit (paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator. Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed. You can bookmark my page at: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-marsha411jd/

Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I had a difficult time getting to my response.Well on this same question. So you're saying they could legally terminate on 10/20 but then seeing attached they are also wanting a repayment of my medical bills from what was submitted to Cigna. And another employee said they may also want any salary paid back also. Is all this legal too???
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello again and thank you for your reply. I apologize if my response was unclear, however, I didn't mean to indicate that your employer could legally terminate you. What I stated was that under those specific circumstances I specifically discussed, an employer may or may not be able to terminate an employee who is out on STD or LTD. You will have to sit down with a local employment law attorney who can go over the facts of your case in detail, specifically the FMLA and ADA reasonable accommodation issue with you, to see if perhaps your employer either wrongfully terminated you.

They can also discuss the repayment issue. However, it is doubtful that your employer's actions in wanting a repayment of medical bills is lawful. You would have had to be given advance notice of termination of coverage and then given your COBRA rights but declined to sign up for them, in order for your employer to be able to deny coverage to you for the time you still were employed up until they gave you notice of termination.

As for your salary, if you were receiving it as a result of being on STD or LTD, then no, they cannot recoup that. In other words, those are insurance policies that you had, whether you were employed anymore or not and so payment under those policies is guaranteed if you otherwise qualify on the basis of a medical condition. So, if you are talking about salary received under the insurance policies, they cannot recoup those.

As always, please feel free to ask for clarification, but when we are finished, take a moment to leave a positive rating so I receive credit for assisting you with these answers.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Did you review the second page where it's medical expenses they paid that they are wanting to be reimbursed for. Is that legal?
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.

I did address that in my initial response. This is what I said: "....However, it is doubtful that your employer's actions in wanting a repayment of medical bills is lawful. You would have had to be given advance notice of termination of coverage and then given your COBRA rights but declined to sign up for them, in order for your employer to be able to deny coverage to you for the time you still were employed up until they gave you notice of termination..." Again though you will definitely want to consult with a local employment law attorney who can contact the employer and also obtain all of the relevant facts and resolve this issue.