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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 8184
Experience:  JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
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I returned from medical leave on Nov 4. That day my employer

Customer Question

I returned from medical leave on Nov 4. That day my employer met with me and said that last Spring I had told her that I'd recorded a conversation with an executive with his knowledge. I do not remember doing that nor do I remember telling her that. She had detailed notes of the conversation she said she had with me. She said she placed me off on leave pending an investigation.I remember going out on medical leave for a psychiatric disorder last Spring which was to end in July. But I don't recall being placed on leave for an investigation.While on leave my psychiatrist had me tested for any type of memory disorder. At that time I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease.Meanwhile, in June I had a knee replaced. In July I had the other knee replaced. I was on leave for that disability through Oct 30. My boss contacted me before I returned to work saying she wanted to meet with me first. That meeting is where I found out about the accusation.I told my boss I did not remember anything of the incident. I told her that while I was on leave, I was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and that may be why I don't recall the events.After the meeting she sent me home. A few days later she called to say I was being dismissed for misconduct.My employer's policy is that if a Director (me) with over 6 years of service is terminated for anything other than misconduct, they would receive 2 months paid notice and 6 months severance. Since she was dismissing me for misconduct I had no right to these benefits, however she agreed to give me 2 months paid notice and only 2 months severance if I agree to retire this coming January (without returning to work).I have a questions.Is it misconduct if the act that I allegedly did, but do not recall, was due to my Alzheimer's disease? Neither I nor my employer knew of that disability at the time she said the act occurred. Since I didn't know I had it, is my employment protected under California state and federal law if my employer was not aware of my disability?Once I disclosed my disability during my meeting with her, should my employer have gone through the interactive process with me (even though she knew the end result would've my dismissal)? She never asked me for a medical certification.I do not want to return to my employer after all of this. However, the difference in severance pay from 2 months to 6 months is $80,000. That is a lot to lose based on an incident that I can't recall.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question, conduct and prepare your response.