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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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If I return to work full duty can my rating by the ame cause

Resolved Question:

If I return to work full duty can my rating by the ame cause me to become in eligible to work. My doctor cleared me to go to work over eighteen months ago, now the doctor who did my disability rating said I must go on light duty or retire...
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 years ago.
Good morning,

I'm sorry to hear of the situation.

Just because an AME doctor suggests that you go on light duty or retire does not mean that your employer is legally bound to that advise. Your own physician's return to work order has just as much legal force---perhaps more---then the AME physician who's sole purpose is to render an opinion for purposes of worker's compensation.

The fact that your own doctor released you 18 months ago, while you should see your physician again to get a repeat of the same opinion so that you have some recent medical evidence to support your position, should be sufficient for the employer.

In this circumstance, you might also really consider retaining a local Workers' Compensation attorney to assist you in this matter.

As a general rule there is little independent about doctors who do disability ratings for the employer, and under the laws of CA you are entitled to present your own doctor's opinion if you want to.

I hope that you found my answer informative, that you are accepting of my efforts and that you will rate my efforts based on the knowledge I have provided to you.

I wish you the best in 2012.

Thank you.

Doug
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have been back to work for over 18 months and have done my job with no complaints from superior officers. I feel that this action is an attempt by the city to get out the older cops, do I have any recourse as far as age discrimination or discrimination based on my disability rating. Should i file a complaint with the EEOC.

Thanks for your advice.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for the additional information.

You raise a very interesting possibility, and it may well be that you are actually being discriminated against. However, if the doctor who is sandbagging you is not an employee of your employer---it may be a bit more difficult to prove discrimination on your employer. you would have to show some sort of connection---such as a nod and handshake between the employer and the doctor---almost a conspiracy---to eliminate the older workers through a scheme like this.

It can't hurt to report your suspicions by filing a complaint with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). If your company has 15 or more employees, they are prohibited from discriminating against you. To file a complaint with the EEOC, contact the nearest Equal Employment Opportunity Commission field office. To be automatically connected with the nearest office, call(NNN) NNN-NNNN EEOC website: www.eeoc.gov

After you file the complaint, your employer will be prohibited from any retaliatory action against you. The EEOC will investigate your claim, and 180 days after the filing of the complaint you may ask for a "right to sue letter". The EEOC will issue you the letter which gives you the right to institute a private civil action against your employer and seek monetary damages.

 

I do still think that perhaps a local Workers' Compensation attorney may well be your best chance of nipping this in the bud though---and you can do this at the same time that the EEOC complaint is moving forward.


I wish you well.

I hope that you found my answer informative, that you are accepting of my efforts and that you will rate my efforts based on the knowledge I have provided to you.

I wish you the best in 2012.

Thank you.

Doug
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