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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19775
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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I turned in Short Term Disability paperwork to my company

Customer Question

I turned in Short Term Disability paperwork to my company and an hour and a half later I was terminated. Do I have any rights? I have never been written up etc and was a top performer in the company. I live in AZ and the company is out of Utica NY
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 5 months ago.

Hello,

Thank you for the information and your question, I will need a few more details in order to assist you properly. Can you tell me what the stated reason, if any, was for your termination? Also, were you out on FMLA or sick leave when you submitted your STD paperwork (give some brief background as to why the STD and your ability to work)? How long had you worked for the Company and were you physically working in AZ?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I was physically working in AZ. I work in med device sales. I have worked there over a year. I was just turning in all the flma paperwork as well as short term paperwork. My father is very ill, I have come down with chronic fatigue as well as sever anxiety and clinical depression. I was still a top the leader board in sales and I was making sure nothing effected my work. I literally went to the doctor on Friday and said if you don't get a leave I am in a health status that could give me a second stroke or heart attack.I was fired for lying about a relationship with a doctor. I was asked last Monday if I have a couple relationships with doctors that could right letters to another hospital that use a product currently at another hospital. I said I had two guys I could get. Well my counter part had already reached out to them before I got to. I talked to my manager and he told me just to let my general sales manager what happened. I have worked with these doctors a couple times but had never needed their emails etc for anything. I knew they had cases last week and I was going to go by their case and get them to send the emails. They are great guys and I know they would have.My GSmanager on Thursday calls me out and calls me a liar for saying I have a relationship. Says because I do t have their phone number in my phone or email on hand that I was a liar. He did not know even if I was a quota achiever every year of my career if I had the ethics to work for the company.Back story, We purchased this company about January and they brought 60 % of their people. Our original GSM and my manager as well as other have slowly been pushed out of the company so they could have their guys. I was not hired by them so I am not one of their guys. There is a associate rep here who they have worked with for years and have wanted to have my position.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 5 months ago.

Hello again and thank you for the information. Although you could potentially pursue a wrongful termination suit under either FMLA or the ADA, the evidence would have to show that the reason you were terminated was not for what the employer perceived as misconduct, but instead because or your, or your father's, medical issues and your request for leave. In other words, the evidence would have to point to the reason for your termination being subterfuge to hide the real reason, the medical leave issues.

That is so even if the reason for your termination seems unfair or arbitrary. Arizona, and NY, for that matter, are both employment "at will" states. That means that an employer may terminate an employee for any, or no, reason and with no notice or warning, unless the reason for the termination is unlawful. The unlawful reasons being discrimination or retaliation for filing for programs like FMLA, WC, OSHA complaints, wage claims or discrimination complaints. Therefore, your termination, even if the timing is poor will not be deemed wrongful unless, as mentioned, the facts show that the medical reasons were why you were terminated (or some other protected class discrimination.)

If you believe that you were let go for the discriminatory reasons I discussed, then you will want to immediately sit down with a local employment law attorney who handles discrimination cases to discuss your next step.

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

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
anything else I can add
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 5 months ago.

No, please read my response I just sent you

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I had been pegged to ride along with the GSM's boss the following week. This week and my manager told me just to knock it out and things would be fine. it is all defined in this relationship argument and what he seems clear as that. I even went to one of the docs and sent my manager a message on Thursday saying I got the doc to right another email and sent him a pic of his email on my card.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Other thing is is HR has not been involved. When I finally called HT yesterday afternoon she was on her way home. She was told not to contact me and everything was taken care of.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 5 months ago.

Alright, well that doesn't change my answer. The reason for your termination that you were given would have to be shown to be a subterfuge and the real reason being your medical issues. You likely know, based on your experience with the Company, what their motivations were. If you believe they wanted to let you go because you were going to be out of work on FMLA, then you should speak to the attorney as mentioned. If you were to file a complaint with the EEOC or file suit, the employer would carry the initial burden to show that their real reason for termination was the reason they gave you. Keep in mind, they can still be arbitrary in their decision since this is an "at will" situation, they just can't be doing it for the unlawful reasons I mentioned.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
on top of that. the week before my manager told me to go behind my GSM's back in order to get a order done. He said of Chros found out we would both be on the hot seat. I asked if deceit was a fire able reason and he said yes. So I told him about what happened. My manager hung up during the middle of the conversation and chris told me just talk to HR. and hung up on me
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 5 months ago.

I appreciate your position and frustration and you might try to speak to HR if they are willing to help you with this. Otherwise, you will need to sit down with a local attorney, who will discuss the issues I have with you and the issue of "at will" and discrimination and the proof issues. They might recommend that they write your employer a letter and give them the chance to change their minds before you consider taking legal action to see if that might change your situation. If that doesn't work, then, at that point, your attorney will tell you if they think there is any evidence to support that you were terminated for medical reasons only.