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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    12

    Default Is Being Laid Off Equivalent to Termination

    I've been injured since February 2012. I was sent to an urgent care clinic, after an arm injury, where they gave a preliminary diagnosis of strain/sprain of the shoulder. My employer and I were instructed to light duty and that under no circumstances was I to use the injured arm until consulting an orthopedist. Basically, what that meant to my bosses was fulfilling job duties one-handed, regardless of the pain I was experiencing. I continued coming into work on time and working full days. The orthopedist appointment was scheduled for one week after the incident. Six days after being injured, and after spending a half-hour breaking rock with sledgehammer only using one handed (which caused my entire body to hurt from the odd work position), I was sent home after complaining to my supervisor about how what I was doing was not 'light duty' and was making the situation worse.

    The seventh day was the panel orthopedist visit. I was told I shouldn't be working simply from the level of pain I'm experiencing. It was later found that I have torn shoulder ligaments. My personal orthopedist also believes there is an entrapped and stretched nerve in my bracheal plexus.

    Until this point I hadn't ever been late for work, written up, and had a sick day once every four months, give or take. All of these had doctor notes. The only negative to my attendance record was a bad flu in late 2011 when I was out for four days, but also had a doctor note.

    Either way, at this point I'm filling out FMLA papers, and they've already sent COBRA paperwork for when that runs out. I've been told that job security is not guaranteed in Pennsylvania during worker's comp, but how can this be legal if I was a good, hardworking employee who was injured doing a job I was instructed to do? And to top it all off, their insurer is giving the run-around.

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

    Default Re: Lay Off Equivalent to Termination

    I've been told that job security is not guaranteed in Pennsylvania during worker's comp, but how can this be legal if I was a good, hardworking employee who was injured doing a job I was instructed to do? And to top it all off, their insurer is giving the run-around.
    Whether you were/are a good, bad or indifferent employee...there are no job protections in filing a WC claim.
    No state, or the federal government can legislate employer business decisions... as long as you are treated the same as other employees with regard to layoff/termination... the burden of proof would be on you if you feel there is harrassment/discrimination by your employer.

    When you are denied/delayed benefits in your comp claim... consult with a certified workers compensation attorney.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Lay Off Equivalent to Termination

    Quote Quoting BvIA View Post
    Whether you were/are a good, bad or indifferent employee...there are no job protections in filing a WC claim.
    No state, or the federal government can legislate employer business decisions... as long as you are treated the same as other employees with regard to layoff/termination... the burden of proof would be on you if you feel there is harrassment/discrimination by your employer.

    When you are denied/delayed benefits in your comp claim... consult with a certified workers compensation attorney.
    So I've been told. But employer decisions are one thing. Brushing someone aside when they were already on work restrictions is altogether different. The law seems too one-dimensional.

    The lawyer part I have covered.

    I was even scheduled for an IME. The entire proceeding was a joke. Spent ten minutes in the room; Asked barely any questions, and performed absolutely NO tests any orthopedist I've met would have done. In all he filled half a page in a legal pad. What a joke.
    Last edited by PaGuy123; 04-10-2012 at 05:23 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tunkhannock, PA
    Posts
    1,096

    Default Re: Lay Off Equivalent to Termination

    Quote Quoting PaGuy123 View Post
    I've been injured since February 2012. I was sent to an urgent care clinic, after an arm injury, where they gave a preliminary diagnosis of strain/sprain of the shoulder. My employer and I were instructed to light duty and that under no circumstances was I to use the injured arm until consulting an orthopedist. Basically, what that meant to my bosses was fulfilling job duties one-handed, regardless of the pain I was experiencing. I continued coming into work on time and working full days. The orthopedist appointment was scheduled for one week after the incident. Six days after being injured, and after spending a half-hour breaking rock with sledgehammer only using one handed (which caused my entire body to hurt from the odd work position), I was sent home after complaining to my supervisor about how what I was doing was not 'light duty' and was making the situation worse.

    The seventh day was the panel orthopedist visit. I was told I shouldn't be working simply from the level of pain I'm experiencing. It was later found that I have torn shoulder ligaments. My personal orthopedist also believes there is an entrapped and stretched nerve in my bracheal plexus.

    Until this point I hadn't ever been late for work, written up, and had a sick day once every four months, give or take. All of these had doctor notes. The only negative to my attendance record was a bad flu in late 2011 when I was out for four days, but also had a doctor note.

    Either way, at this point I'm filling out FMLA papers, and they've already sent COBRA paperwork for when that runs out. I've been told that job security is not guaranteed in Pennsylvania during worker's comp, but how can this be legal if I was a good, hardworking employee who was injured doing a job I was instructed to do? And to top it all off, their insurer is giving the run-around.
    There is no job security, but if you are let go while still on restrictions, you enjoy a presumption that your loss of income is as a result of your work injury. It seems pretty clear that you are not being welcomed back with open arms and that the games have already started. If you have not already done so, I would strongly suggest that you talk to a workers' compensation attorney in your area. You owe it to yourself to protect your rights in regard to what appears to be a rather serious injury.
    Timothy D. Belt, Esquire
    Helping injured workers in Northeast Pennsylvania.
    belt-law@belt-law.com
    www.belt-law.com

    DISCLAIMER: This post is intended as general information applicable only to the state of Pennsylvania. The information given is based strictly upon the facts provided. This post is not intended to create an attorney client relationship, or to provide any specific guarantee of confidentiality.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Lay Off Equivalent to Termination

    Quote Quoting Timothy Belt View Post
    There is no job security, but if you are let go while still on restrictions, you enjoy a presumption that your loss of income is as a result of your work injury. It seems pretty clear that you are not being welcomed back with open arms and that the games have already started. If you have not already done so, I would strongly suggest that you talk to a workers' compensation attorney in your area. You owe it to yourself to protect your rights in regard to what appears to be a rather serious injury.
    You know Post, after post, after post, says, "you really need to consult a worker’s comp attorney"... It's really kind of irritating; I must be the only one in a state where it's near 100% impossible to get a attorney to talk to you. I have a list of attorneys a mile long from the work comp board and not a damn one of them will take a case until something has been contraverted that is large enough and they think they can beat, then they will talk to you... It's near impossible to meet that bar and yet I need a damn attorney... What the heck. I offer to pay them and they say all they are allowed to take from me is 300$ for the life of the case and so basically the law sets it up where even if I have 50 thousand dollars to pay for myself a attorney in cash on his desk he will send me packing because if something isn’t contraverted he has no way to work for me, I have to say this is just as irritating as having the dang injury it'self... Anyone else going thru this?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Lay Off Equivalent to Termination

    Unfortunately you are now your employers enemy and they are yours. Expect nothing from them, you are now going to be battling the insurance company. I had 39 loyal years with mine before being injured. They hate me and I hate them more. You say you have your lawyer "covered," good your going to need one. I hope you have faith in him/her, it's very important. If you don't and are close to one of those responding to injured workers on this site, contact one of them, they care enough to respond to to questions and not get paid. Your attorney will be worth everthing their paid. I'm in this 3 years now and had my case fully litigated. I never would have won without being represented. Good luck my friend.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Lay Off Equivalent to Termination

    I'm being told now that I'm not laid off, but because I'm not showing up to work I'll need to fill out FMLA paperwork to continue benefits unless I wish to pay them on my own 100%. After that I can either accept or reject COBRA, which is 100% insurance premium. In short, HR is telling me I'm not being thrown out... but if that were the case wouldn't I still be vested as an employee?

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