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My doctor has declared me medically unfit to work -- stress,

Customer Question
depression, fatigue. My employer said...
My doctor has declared me medically unfit to work -- stress, depression, fatigue. My employer said that I had to have the doctor fill out a "Certification of Health Care Provider " form and return it to them in three days, as so I could be put on Medical Leave -- keep my health insurance, etc.. I completed their request, and I've not heard back from them for almost two weeks, and after several attempts been able to reach Human Resources, they say "they are not available".

I'm not sure what steps to take from here. I have short term disability insurance, that I pay for, through the employer-- it is supposed to be available to me after 30 days.

Can they fire me and discontinue my benefits?
Do I qualify for any kind of compensation now?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Employment Law
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3/12/2010
Employment Lawyer: Marsha411JD, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,820
Experience: Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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Hello,

First and foremost, you need to do whatever you can do to contact someone at your place of work that can assist you. I would guess that you have more than one telephone number where you can reach someone including your supervisor if you cannot reach HR. It is very important that you continue to try to contact them so that you will not be considered to have abandoned your job. You want to make sure that you have done all the administrative steps necessary on your part. If you qualify and your company has 50 or more employees, then you are probably eligible for FMLA which will protect you from losing your job for up to 12 weeks or as long as you need to be out, whichever is shorter. You will need to continue to pay for any health benefits or other benefits that you generally contribute to while you are out on leave. If your company offers paid sick leave then if you still have sick leave available, you will likely be able to use that up until you run out. As for your STD, when that goes into effect is totally dependent on the STD plan that the company has, so you will have to read your policy or employee handbook regarding when you will start receiving pay.

Again though it is very important that you do whatever is necessary to get a hold of someone at your company that can put you through to the official who can tell you if you are approved and what your reporting requirements will be while on leave.
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I will definitly accept your answer, thank you, XXXXX XXXXX! Last question: can they fire me for my medical situation?
Employment Lawyer: Marsha411JD, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
Hello again,

They cannot terminate based on your medical condition as long as you have completed all the administrative steps necessary to qualify for your leave and you don't lose contact with them. They could technically terminate you for something unrelated to your medical condition that occurred prior to your request for leave, but if they did they would have to have evidence that it was in no way related to your request for medical leave.
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