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  1. #1
    shellideglman Guest

    Default Employer Imposing A Timeframe For When Injured Worker Must Return To Work

    Hello,

    I am very frustrated and hoping someone can help. I live in Wyoming and in January of 2004 my husband was injured while working for our town volunteer fire department. He normally works as a Police Officer for the same town so is covered under the towns' work comp policy. He sustained a Lisfranc injury. This injury occurs with the dislocation or seperation of all the bones in your mid foot. He tore all the muscle and cartlidge and broke all his toes. He had surgery in Feb. 2004 and had 6 pins and 4 screws placed into his foot. He was completely off work for 4months when he was released to light duty. As a police officer this means he can only do desk work. Now keep inmind we live in a small town (3500 people) so desk work is something everyone does there is no specific position for it. We are now at 20 months since his injury he is still unable to walk without pain and swelling so they removed the hardware from his foot in hopes it will get better, that was a month ago and still no progress. Today he received a letter from the Chief of Police saying he had to be released to full duty by Oct. 10 or he will be terminated. I don't know what to do. Work Comp says yes they can fire him for a prolonged injury but they would not give me information on applying for permanent disability said I would have to wait until Monday when they are back in the office. I can't wait that long, I am so stressed worring how I am going to pay the mortgage and buy food and have a half way normal life.

    I guess my question is can they really fire him? Isn't he protected by the ADA in some way? Will we be able to draw work comp benefits if he is fired? Do I need to get a lawyer and file a lawsuit against the fire district, home owner, and town for his original injury? The home owner was neglagent in starting the fire and the fire department has no records of training its volunteers or up keep on equipment.

    Any help would be great.

    Thanks
    DesperateinWY

  2. #2
    monk Guest

    Default

    Simular situation, at our dept you can stay out forever on w/c but once you are put on light duty they will terminated your tenure after 3 months. This means that you either have to retire or get fired from the department. This came to play because to many officer's were on light duty with to few light duty spots. It just happen that now very few workers go out with injuries, they just have to suffer.

    Most likly your husband will never be able to due police/fire work again. I would think his options are 1) disability retire 2) SSDI

    May good luck come upon you.........

  3. #3
    good Guest

    Default

    Has your Dr stated that he will not be able to return to full duty? That will be the first question. Once you are told that, you will know which direction your case will go. This happened to me.

    I was on light duty for over a yr, they have no real position for that. My Dr stated that I would never return to reg duty. Finally they fired me, and yes they can do this. My WC cont and still does after being fired and will until we settle or I go back to another job somewhere else. They will try to find you another job, if they can't and feel you are capable of working they may send him to school.

    I was able to go out on LE Ret, the paperwork was given to me by the dept HR to complete and return to the state when they gave me my exit pkg after being fired. It didn't take long to complete and process 1-2 months and it goes upon his yrs of service with the dept. How long was he there? It also depends on how your depts ret is set up. You will most likely have to pay your cobra if you want ins, that isn't normally covered in the ret pkg. You should be able to collect the LE Ret and also WC. The question is did he get injured while on duty for the fire dept or PD? There are different rules for volunteer postions and I don't know how they work.

    Have you got a WC att, that is the first thing you need to do, he can help you a lot with the issues that will arise and can also direct you to an employement att if he thinks you have a case with that also.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    cop24 Guest

    Default

    It is confusing because he was actually injured doing volunteer firefighter work and not police work, so he may not be eligible for a medical retirement with his police dept. My dept has service connected disability retirements and non-service connected, so he may have other options. If you dont have a WC lawyer, you may want to get one. Also he should talk to Human Resources at his dept and have them explain his options. I'm going through a disability retirement myself at the moment and currently have zero income, so I know how scarey it is..not to mention the mental crap you go through trying to accept that you can no longer be a cop. Don't know if this site will be helpful, but maybe it can help you with Wyoming WC laws. Good luck!

    http://wydoe.state.wy.us/

  5. #5
    cop24 Guest

    Default

    Also, if he fired, while he is going through the retirement process and WC process, he may be able to collect unemployment or SSDI..so check into those options!

  6. #6
    coplover Guest

    Default

    How was the home owner neg - Arson or wht . It would help so I could answer .
    good luck

  7. #7
    shellideglman Guest

    Default

    The home owner left a faulty engine warmer plugged in overnight. He stated that it had to be watched because it was known to short out. However he forgot to unplug it when he left for home and 5 hours later the barn was on fire and the fire was moving towards the storage buildings and old homestead. He did except responsibilty for the fire knowing he should have never left the engine warmer plugged in.

    His Dr. has stated that at no time in the near future will my husband be able to return to work. He said maybe a year from now he will be able to walk better and have less pain but will never be able to handle being on his feet for long periods or running or climbing ladders.

    Even though he was working as a firefighter at the time of his injury the town is responsible for the work comp insurance for both departments so I hope that he will be covered by retirement for the police dept. We have no HR person for the town or the dept. The closest we get is the payroll clerk and she told us she didn't know what our options were. My husband has only worked for this dept. for little over 8 years he is only 33 and prior to this job he was in the Army as a military police officer. All he has ever done is be a cop and I don't know if he could or would do anything else.

    I appreciate all the comments it is nice to know we are not the only ones going through this type of problem.

    Thanks
    Shelli

  8. #8
    good Guest

    Default

    Please don't take this as being rude but WC will not care about the fact that this is all he has done, they will try to find something he will be able to do with his limitations. They don't care if he likes it or not nor what the pay is, they will try to find something close to the same amt but that will be unlikely with as long as he was at the PD. Please get an att to help you with this, quickly.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    coplover Guest

    Default

    Dear gentle person
    1. The homeowner, in my opinion. If a felony or blatant disregard guard for any normal safety! Yes.
    2. Talk to your Citys' Attorney.
    3. Speak to a Trial Lawyer, within a large city that surrounds you.
    4. On a personal note. Every year I make a huge donation to the national policeman's Association, It really makes me mad that one of the man in blue is getting raped.
    5. http://www.nolo.com/ It is well worth the beans.
    7. Had he been examined from the Veterans Administration?
    8. Worker's Compensation, will not replace your entire loss of income or the profession that your husband was in. I do not mean this in a rude way, but do not wait on the new Mercedes-Benz.
    9. Is there some kind of Firefighter or police fund?

  10. #10
    mkf Guest

    Default

    you need a wc attorney - don't speak to the city attorney for the town pd your husband works for

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