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John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5557
Experience:  Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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We have a corporation here in NYC with only 2 employees. The

Customer Question

We have a corporation here in NYC with only 2 employees. The employee in question has worked as a receptionist for us for 12 years full time. She presently is out since June 24th with vision problems and tells us she is filing for disability. She is not sure when or if she will be able to return. We pay her full health insurance premium monthly. Our first question is what our legal obligation to her is as far as her health insurance. Do we have to continue to pay it and if so for how long. Secondly we have to replace her for now. No issues arise if she converts to long term disability and never returns, but what if 6 months from now she is well and calls saying she wants her job back. What are the legalities? Is she entitled to return? Are we liable if we tell her the job vacancy was filled?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.
Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. My name is John. I have over 13 years of legal and consulting experience in this area. I’m happy to assist you with your question today.
Basically what you'll need to do in this situation is write her a letter essentially repeating what has been said - i.e., she told you she is having vision problems, doesn't know if or when she can return and is goiing to apply for disability. Follow this by stating that if she doesn't return to work within a week she will be considered to have resigned her employment.
With that being said, because you are a small employer none of the benefits or "job holding" laws - ie. COBRA and FMLA apply to her. You do not have to continue her health insurance after the date you declare will be her resignation, you do not have to give her 12 weeks leave, you do not have to rehire her in the event it is determined she is not disabled.
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