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Hello and thanks so much for choosing this forum to pose your important legal question. I will do my best to give you some honest and accurate guidance.
I am sorry to hear about this frustrating situation. I will defer to your workers' compensation attorney in that regard, but I will be glad to comment as to wrongful termination.
First, the issue of being a union employee definitely caught my attention. Hawaii is an employment-at-will state, but if you were terminated contrary to the provisions of your union agreement then that certainly changes the analysis. I would start with a close look at what protections your collective bargaining agreement provides. If you haven't already done so, check with the union's legal department and get their take on the situation. Also, I would ask about filing a grievance to get a review.
Second, the issue of being out due to an injury is another major consideration. The federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) might come into play, as it provides for 12 weeks of coverage. Hawaii also has a state family medical leave act that provides for four weeks of leave per calendar year.
As far as damages are concerned, if you prove a wrongful discharge case you would generally be entitled to be compensated for lost wages, value of lost benefits and, in certain circumstances, punitive damages and damages for emotional distress caused by the employer's acts.
Prior to accepting a settlement I would suggest running things by a neutral third-party attorney. Here is the only legal referral service approved by the Hawaii State Bar Association as well as the American Bar Association. You can even get a a free review Wednesday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. by calling(NNN) NNN-NNNN
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The information provided is general in nature only and should not be construed as legal advice. By using this forum, you acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship has been created between you and Benjamin M. Burt, Jr., Esq. You should always consult with a lawyer in your state.