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I had to have a total knee replacement, it has been a long

recovery. My employer called me...
I had to have a total knee replacement, it has been a long recovery. My employer called me in 8-22-13 and I was let go because I was not able to return to work, per the doctor. They handed me a letter stating I was no longer an employee. My surgery was 4-25-13, and my return date is scheduled for 10-25-13, with limits on no airline travel until January of 2014. I am improving daily and feel I will be able to return on schedule. My position involves two weeks travel and two weeks home. I train office managers and operations managers on the administrative side of their positions at the nation wide branche locations (62 branches throughout the US and Canada). I have am 63 years old and have been with this company 15 years. This company employees about 2000 employees.

Once I questioned their decision, stating I had a prostetic knee and felt this was wrong and would probably fall under ADA laws. The HR person stated that this type surgery did not qualify. Later on the same day of being let go she called and said she checked with their attorney and I was not fired and they would work with me. But I would have to pay my own benefits utilizing Cobra, which will be ver expensive, but I will do what I need to do to ensure continued medical coverage.

That was one the worst days of my life, and I am scared they will try to find reasons to let me go since I questioned their actions. Plus I make fair salary and they could hire a younger person for much less, but I guarantee they would not have my knowledge or experience.

What should I do to protect my future, I plan to work until I reach full retirement age of 67?
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
8/27/2013
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 34,305
Experience: Employment Law Expert
Verified

JD 1992 :

Hello, and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today.

JD 1992 :

Are you out on FMLA leave right now?

Customer: Yes, they extended an addtional one month, which they state was over 8-9-2013 and I was tod that last week during the termination meeting.
JD 1992 :

I understand. At this point though, they have decided that they are not letting you go correct?

Customer: Yes, but afraid they will try to find other reasons. I feel betrayed and have been very dedicated to this company. I am salaried and averaged working 9 to 10 hours daily.
JD 1992 :

I think that what they are doing at this point is already a violation of the ADA and possiblyy the FMLA as well.

JD 1992 :

Definitely the ADA though.

JD 1992 :

These things are kind of like chess matches. What I'd suggest you do is find an attorney in your area that does employment law and start planning out what to do, get your strategy in order.

JD 1992 :

At some point you are going to have to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC but you don;t want to do that yet.

JD 1992 :

The strategy usually involves the employee sending letters to the employer which are drafted by teh attorney but sent by the employee.

JD 1992 :

This doesn't tip them off that you have an attorney.

Customer: Should I contact a lawyer here for direction? I was going to ask my employer for a letter rescinding the termination letter, but decided I better talk to an expert. Please advise, thankyou.
JD 1992 :

Yes, get a local attorney.

JD 1992 :

The initial "firing" and the statement that the surgery didn't qualify under the ADA already demonstrates issues.

Customer: Thank you for the direction and have a nice evening.
JD 1992 :

You're very welcome. Keep me informed as this progresses if you remember. Once you issue your Positive Rating the question will lock open and no longer time out and you can post back to it whenever you want to.

JD 1992 :

Best wishes to you. Please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating (of course I'd suggest Excellent) so I get credit for my work. The experts only get credit from the website when you issue a Positive Rating.

JD 1992 :

I'll exit now to assist others.

Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 34,305
Experience: Employment Law Expert
Verified
Dwayne B. and 87 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 34,305
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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