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Is a Hawaii employer required to notify an employee at the…

Customer Question
Second opinion] Is a...

Second opinion] Is a Hawaii employer required to notify an employee at the time the employee is terminated?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

See above, Hawaii.

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

At will, full-time.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Received written notice on 1/10/18 that my employment was terminated on 12/26/17. was on medically stipulated sick leave from 12/27/17 thru 1/10/18. Released back to work on 1/10/18, at which point I received the backdated termination notice.

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Employment Law
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1/14/2018
Employment Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 1 month ago
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,561
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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Hello: This isCustomer Welcome to JustAnswer! I am reviewing your post, and I will post my response very shortly. Thank you for your patience.

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Employment Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 1 month ago

I am sorry to read about your difficulties.

Your Question:

Is a Hawaii employer required to notify an employee at the time the employee is terminated?

Response: Yes. Notice of termination must have been sent or communicated to you on or before 12/26/17, the date of your termination. The backdating of the notice affects your benefits especially your health insurance benefits. Also, you were also supposed to be provided notice regarding COBRA--your right to continued health insurance coverage. If your health benefits are denied because of this backdated notice, you need to file complaint with your State's Department of Labor or with U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Best wishes,

A positive rating to my response is appreciated so that I can receive credit for responding to your post. There is no additional cost to you for giving a positive rating.

Thank you for your cooperation.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Some clarifying details, and additional questions:The employer claimed on 1/10 by text that I had been terminated on 12/26, my day off, for insubordination. She also claimed I had "attacked" the other owner in the walk-in. (I had requested a private meeting with the other owner, my direct supervisor, on the 23rd; he requested we meet in the walk-in refrigerator for privacy, where we had a civil conversation.)There are three possible motivations for the employer's incorrect assertions I can think of:(1) attempting to avoid paying Unemployment, by discrediting me and claiming I was terminated for cause;(2) attempting to avoid paying Work Comp for the two weeks I was out on medical leave for a work-generated condition from 12/27 through 1/10. (The doctor released me to return to work on restricted duty on the 11th);(3) attempting to avoid a possible unlawful termination filing, by claiming on 1/10 that I was terminated 12/26 for insubordination just before my medically necessary leave which began 12/27.I emailed my medical leave notice to both company owners/direct supervisors and the co-employer/outsourced HR and Payroll business owner on 12/27. This notice stated the work-generated reason for the medical leave, the term of the leave, and the release back to work on 1/11 with restricted duty terms.The HR/Payroll business owner emailed back to me on 12/28, thanking me for submitting my doctor's note.At no point prior to 7pm on 1/10 did any of the employers give notice that I was terminated - not verbally, not by text, email, nor US Mail.
.On 1/10 at 6:45pm I texted my employers/direct supervisors to remind them per the doctor instructions, I was cleared for restricted duty effective Thurs 1/11, that I assumed my Thurs-Mon schedule was still in place, and that I would be in at 7am on the 11th to unlock the door per normal procedure, unless I heard differently from them.A few minutes after I sent my text on Weds 1/10 with confirmation of readiness to return to work on 1/11, I received a text response from the owner/supervisor stating I had been terminated on the 26th for insubordination, that she was clear the employment was no longer a good fit, and best of luck in my new endeavors.To date I have received no follow up from any of the employers regarding Work Comp or TDI coverage while I was off-duty for the work-generated medical leave, nor any information about COBRA.My additional questions for you are:(1) Am I eligible for Unemployment, as I received no disciplinary notices nor documentation of termination for any cause?(2) Am I eligible for Work Comp, and/or TDI for the 2 weeks I was unable to work, regardless of the erroneous date of the termination (26th not 10th)?(3) Does this sound like Unlawful Termination? (as I believe I was really terminated due to the medical condition and time away from work, and not terminated for spurious reasons relating to "attacks" which were meetings and unsubstantiated assertions of "insubordination").My last day worked was the 25th, I worked my full shift, had a brief and pleasant meeting at the end of that shift with the owner/supervisor I purportedly "attacked" two days prior. The following two days were my regularly scheduled days off Tu/Weds the 26 and 27th. I submitted my doctor's note on the 27th, received the confirmation of receipt on the 28th, and have been paid in full for the pay period which closed on the 25th.Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Employment Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 1 month ago

Thank you for the information.

Kindly give me a few minutes to review the information and prepare my response.

Thank you for your patience.

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Employment Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 1 month ago

Your Questions:

My additional questions for you are:

(1) Am I eligible for Unemployment, as I received no disciplinary notices nor documentation of termination for any cause?

Response 1: Whether or not you would be eligible for unemployment benefit would depend on your interview and your former employer's interview with the unemployment office. A decision would be made by the office as to your eligibility after those interviews. If the decision is not in your favor, you would be given an opportunity to file an appeal from the adverse decision.

(2) Am I eligible for Work Comp, and/or TDI for the 2 weeks I was unable to work, regardless of the erroneous date of the termination (26th not 10th)?

Response 2: Yes. There is no "erroneous date of termination." Your employer illegally backdated the date of your termination.

(3) Does this sound like Unlawful Termination? (as I believe I was really terminated due to the medical condition and time away from work, and not terminated for spurious reasons relating to "attacks" which were meetings and unsubstantiated assertions of "insubordination").

My last day worked was the 25th, I worked my full shift, had a brief and pleasant meeting at the end of that shift with the owner/supervisor I purportedly "attacked" two days prior. The following two days were my regularly scheduled days off Tu/Weds the 26 and 27th. I submitted my doctor's note on the 27th, received the confirmation of receipt on the 28th, and have been paid in full for the pay period which closed on the 25th.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Response 3: There is an argument to be made that the real reason for your termination was due to your medical condition. You can file complaint for wrongful termination with U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or Hawaii Civil Rights Commission if your employer has 15 or more employees.

Best wishes,

A positive rating to my response is appreciated so that I can receive credit for responding to your post. There is no additional cost to you for giving a positive rating.

Thank you for your cooperation.

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