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Ray
Ray, Employment lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 42205
Experience:  30 years in Employment law
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I was on LOA and receiving STD, and my company changed my

Customer Question

I was on LOA and receiving STD, and my company changed my job status to PRN, with multiple reasons given, but one being my reduction in hours worked, therefore losing STD benefits. Do I have any legal recourse to regain my prior employee status? Have been on medical leave since nov 6, received first payment Dec 17th.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you.Were you granted FMLA, Family Medical Leave, was this job related--was workers com involved?

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave.

FMLA is designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. It also seeks to accommodate the legitimate interests of employers and promote equal employment opportunity for men and women.

FMLA applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees. These employers must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for any of the following reasons:

  • for the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee;
  • for placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
  • to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
  • to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

Employees are eligible for leave if they have worked for their employer at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles. Whether an employee has worked the minimum 1,250 hours of service is determined according to FLSA principles for determining compensable hours or work.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
no, was on LOA, had not been there a year yet, followed HR policy and used PTO, EID before requesting LOA, it is offered in 30 day increments, and has to be requested in writing for extensions, etc...Company pays for LTD, but I had elected add'l STD benefits and these payments, along with insurance was deducted from check, bi-weekly.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
provided them with note from my physician stating she was placing me on medical leave and would re-evaluate my status in 30 days. they were provided with note from physician following each 30 day reassessment, Dec, Jan, and Feb. Liberty Mutual -STD was provided with actual diagnosis, referral, etc.. information.
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

So did you have paid medical leave here at time of termination and was that approved..

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
have not been terminated, job status changed to PRN, from regular full-time. due to "reduction in hours", I wasn't working due to being on approved LOA. now no longer have any STD benefits, only option of COBRA coverage is for Delta Dental. Have contacted local DOL regarding COBRA, but have no income without STD payments.
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

Now I understand.I would consider an EEOC complaint arguing there was discrimination involved here, say age or sex or race.You decide which of these to claim.The reclassification was retaliation here for your illness and leave.It is worth a shot, you may also sue them on this basis.There may be both EEOC and a wrongful classification here that damages can be sought for.

It is clear to me that the employer here may have had covert ideas to force you out and loose your short term disability.You may also consider filing for SSDI or SSI from social security if you are unable to work.This might give you income while EEOC and civil suit are pending.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

EEOC

If you believe that you have been discriminated against at work because of your race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information, you can file a Charge of Discrimination. All of the laws enforced by EEOC, except for the Equal Pay Act, require you to file a Charge of Discrimination with us before you can file a job discrimination lawsuit against your employer. In addition, an individual, organization, or agency may file a charge on behalf of another person in order to protect the aggrieved person's identity. There are time limits for filing a charge.

http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/charge.cfm

This would be your best protection.Your damages would be lost wages and /or lost coverage payments here for short term disability.EEOC offers you protection from being reclassified and maybe subtle means of such discrimination here.

I am truly sorry that they have done this to you.I hope you will file here with EEOC and consider a suit as well.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

he U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.

Here you may have multiple categories, certainly your illness can be a disability too..thanks again and the best here.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
EEOC, for reclassification? I have calls out to so many government agencies. I simply cannot see how I can be subject to a change in job status, due to change in hours, while on approved LOA. By not firing me I have no wrongful termination rights, but I am not able to work PRN. just do not know how to pay bills or get my benefits back that I paid for.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
guess I should look for an atty who works on anticipated settlement.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you, ***** ***** M.Ed., CCC-SLP
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

You have to argue that you are not an at will employee that there was discrimination here, it can be more than one category and certainly your illness is arguably a disability and this was retaliation here.

Carolyn it was my pleasure to help you.Use the lawyer referral and see if you can find one to take this contingent fee.I wish you the best with both this and your illness.Thanks again.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

If you can leave a positive rating it is always much appreciated.Take care now.