Let’s consider this scenario: Your employer’s insurance approved you for short-term disability. You have been headed toward long-term disability based on your circumstances but, before you could make it, your employer lays you off. Because of this, your disability policy is essentially terminated and you’re back to square one, without any options. Not only are you thrown into a situation where you’re struggling to maintain a normal life while dealing with a disability, but also you believe that you may be able to take legal action against your employer. Today we will help you understand if this process is legal and what you can do.
Is your employer permitted to legally discharge you while you’re on short-term disability? This is a question many people ask every year when their employers take action against them, especially in cases of wrongful termination. Though disability works as a way to protect your income when you have become unable to work, it does not equate to job security. Your employer is usually under no obligation to keep you employed just because you are on disability. However, your employer may not have had a reason to fire you, which is a separate matter. You may be offered protections after all.
The best way to protect yourself is to consider the measures of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave every year. This is so that a worker is able to deal with personal or family medical issues, such as cases where your child has been diagnosed with a medical condition and you will need to take some time to be with them in their time of need. FMLA leave will help you get back on your feet when you are suffering from an illness or injury from the workplace, and will usually run at the same time as your short-term disability benefits. If you were eligible for FMLA leave and you were discharged from work, this is considered an illegal move by your employer.
You also have protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This means that, if you are considered to be disabled in your workplace, an employer must do everything in their nature to make accommodations for you as long as it does not cause the business “undue hardship.” However, if the employer is unable to make accommodations for you or you still aren’t able to meet the demands of the job, you can still be fired.
Do you believe that certain circumstances caused you to be wrongfully terminated from your job, causing you to be denied benefits that are imperative to you and your life as you struggle with your disabilities? If you should have been protected under the law while on disability leave but you were fired, you may have questions for us. We understand every specific part of disability law at Edelstein Martin & Nelson, where your case means everything to us and we want to help you receive benefits. Contact us at 800-300-0909 for more information on how we can assist you in your time of need.