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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Being Fired While on Workmans Comp

    My workers compensation claim was made in the State of: missouri

    I was injured on the job roughly 5-6 weeks ago. Everything was handled correctly but the time of medical treatment was kinda long. A workmans comp representive contacted me and was told I had returned back to work already and she was shocked that I had'nt yet. About a week ago I recieved a certified letter from the company I work for stating that the doctor handling my claim sent them a letter saying that it was unknown when I was going to be able to return back to work. In the letter I recieved from my company it stated, "We can not hold your position indefinetly so we are forced in terminating you from the company. Your health benefits will continue thru June 30th 2010. When you are fully capable in performing the duties required in the job desription and are still interested in working with us you must resubmit your application." The question I have is can they legally do this or is this their way of saving a penny and do I need to take lagal action upon them? Any answers will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,017

    Default Re: Being Fired While on Workmans Comp

    The question I have is can they legally do this or is this their way of saving a penny and do I need to take lagal action upon them?
    Yes... fully legal.
    Unless you are eligible for unpaid leave under FMLA, which would provide up to 12 weeks annum of leave, there is no job protection. The ER is not required to keep your job or ER paid/provided benefits beyond those 12 weeks.

    The WC and FMLA leave may run concurrently, IF you are notified in writing of the ER intent to do so.

    Your ER cannot require you to be 100% pre injury condition, but they are not required to hold your job or move another person out of your pre injury job to make room for your return.

    Each IW/EE would be addressed on their capabilities to perform the job duties as assigned once released to RTW/return to work by their Dr.

    Legal...yes. Fair, maybe, maybe not. Legal action... none.
    If the FMLA has not run concurrently with the WC leave, you could be eligible for those 12 weeks protection now. Get the paperwork, have your Dr certify the qualifying medical condition, and request your leave under the FMLA provisions. If you feel you are going to be out longer than the 12 weeks... again, your ER is not required to hold your job past that time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Being Fired While on Workmans Comp

    Ok what about the health benefits. From what I understand is that it is illegal to fire someone upon an on the job injury and leave them out to dry plus Ive been paying in for disability long and short term. Wouldnt that kick in somewhere in this time or did I get screwed out of that?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    west side
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: Being Fired While on Workmans Comp

    The new president has made the cobra that you omly pay 35% but you need to ask at you former work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,017

    Default Re: Being Fired While on Workmans Comp

    Ok what about the health benefits.
    You didn't answer the question about FMLA...
    So to add to that... most IC"s writing the coverage for GHP/group health plans your ER provides, and sometimes you contribute, require only full time EEs can participate. Full time is usually defined as 32 hours/week minimum.

    FMLA... once the 12 cap is reached, your ER is not required to hold your job, or create a job for you. And, the GHP stops, you are offered COBRA to continue the GHP coverage.

    If you are paying out of pocket for STD/LTD benefits, those would/could continue, as long as you continue to pay the premiums. If you are eligible for STD/LTD, you should apply for those benefits now. STD/LTD is always secondary to any other disability benefits you may be eligible/qulaify for. IE WC TTD, and/or SSDI. They require you to apply for those so they can apply any offsets. Min/Max rates apply there too.
    From what I understand is that it is illegal to fire someone upon an on the job injury and leave them out to dry
    You're right there with lots of other IW's. It would be illegal in most states, to terminate an EE/IW due to the work injury, or filing a claim for WC benefits, or a disability/perceived disabilty.
    It's your responsibility to prove that though. It would not be illegal to layoff, or terminate you once the statutory caps on WC leave, or FMLA leave is reached. As long as all EE are treated in the same manner. Again, proof on your part is difficult.
    Ive been paying in for disability long and short term. Wouldnt that kick in somewhere in this time or did I get screwed out of that?
    That's "insurance'', not a savings plan for your possible injury/disability. Just like auto, homeowners etc. If there isn't a qualifying loss, there would be no recovery under that policy. You'll have to read the policy exclusions/provisions to tell exactly what benefits you may be eligible for.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Being Fired While on Workmans Comp

    The company did indeed have he FMLA. That was explained when I was first hired in plus it is in the company policy handbook.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,017

    Default Re: Being Fired While on Workmans Comp

    DID you request the FMLA leave, OR did the employer run the FMLA 12 weeks concurrently with the WC leave... ?
    That would determine IF you have any eligibility to further job protection. If they ran the WC/FMLA at the same time, once you were notified, then you are sol on further job protections.

    If not, then you need to look further into the situation. That may require an attorney familiar with WC and FMLA overlaps in MO. At any rate, you should not rely upon the info here to state your case.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Pa.
    Posts
    925

    Default Re: Being Fired While on Workmans Comp

    From what You have written, You have only been out of Work for 5-6Weeks, so You should have FMLA Time left, as it's 12 Weeks. I think it's time to contact an Attorney that handles w/c, and hopefully either Them or someone in Their Firm handles Employer/Employees disputes also. It seems to Me letting You go before Your FMLA Time is premature and You may have recourse there. You definitely need to check into this further! Best of Luck!!
    A Work Place Injury is a Very Hard and Painful Road. Learn as Much as You can about Your States Laws, and Remember, They have Lawyers, and so should You if You have a Complicated Case!! Best of Luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Being Fired While on Workmans Comp

    im not a lawyer but the way i read workman comp statues
    it states while you are on workmans comp health insurance premiums
    are to be paid for 1 year.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,017

    Default Re: Being Fired While on Workmans Comp

    the way i read workman comp statues
    it states while you are on workmans comp health insurance premiums
    are to be paid for 1 year
    Where are you reading this?
    Do you have a link to that information.
    I have never seen any law/statute that requires an employer to continue to pay the premiums on your GHP/group health plan for more than what FMLA requires. UNLESS there are provisions in a CBA/Collective Barganing Agreement...ie union contract, which would supercede other rules.

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