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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Released to Light Duty, Worried About Being Fired

    I was recently ordered back to work on light duty in my law enforcement job after being out for surgery for an injury 18 months ago. I have PT for the surgery which was to repair one elbow (tennis elbow surgery) three times a week. I saw an IME two weeks ago and he told me there was nothing left to do surgically and that this round of PT was about all that could be done, but a spinal column stimulator was a consideration. Of course my employer's self insurance department denied the stimulator (again). There is little left to except the PT. The IME even put in his report that there is no chance of me returning to my full time status ever and that the injury was caused on the job. So now what? I have been told that with the NYS Civil Service I can be let go after two years. In December it will be two years, the IME has not said I have reached MMI. I was also told that my employer can file anytime now on my behalf for medical of performance of duty disability. I do have a Workers Comp Attorney but right now there isn't much he can do since we are in limbo medically. I had one surgery last August (carpal tunnel release which failed) so I know the MMI on that should be a year. Can there be a permanency hearing on that surgery without the one for the elbow or does the clock reset with the second surgery? I am glad I do have an attorney because if how confusing this all is. I guess I am just waiting for the other shoe to fall. This week my employer started giving me a hard time over the PT, which they have never done and I have been going on and off since last September. I just wonder if they are going to try and pull something to fire me (I have never had any disciplinary issues and have a Good Conduct award I received last year so it seems hard to try and can me, but you never know). I just hate waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel and hope its not a train coming the other way.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Re: Now What

    I work for nys so I know how things have worked for me and where I found info. so hopefully this info may be beneficial to you. I would read the portions of your union contract that have to do with workers comp. I can access my contract through my union website. I believe that the nys time and attendence manual says they only have to give you leave for a year, so if someone is telling you that you have 2 years, this should be in your contract.

    Your union contract should tell you time frames, notice requirements ect for how they can terminate you and if you have a way to dispute/appeal it.

    For example, I was injured in an assault, and my union contract says I have 2 years because of this unless there are permanent restrictions that can't be accomodated. If I am fired because of this and at some point I can return to work, I would be put on a preferred list for re-employment. My contract has time frames for when I am to recieve notice (which has been through certified letters) about how things will happen.

    I would also think that your contract would have info about process they need to follow to terminate someone.

    You should also be able to find out how to apply for a reasonable accomodation once restrictions are permanent.

    As far as medical treatment, I believe if your doctor has prescribed treatment and it has been denied, there should be a way for your lawyer to help you get a hearing/appeal that decision. You should also be able to get a second opinion. Also, the IME told you there was nothing else surgically to be done? What does your Dr say.

    Because you are in law enforcement are you eligibe for any sort of injured in the line of duty disability retirement?

    You say a couple of times that you "have been told" things. If those things are true, you should be able to find them written somewhere. Talk to your union rep for help, and if they do not seem to know, look on union website, or ask if there are people in union that specialize in workers comp.

    It is very scary not knowing what is going to happen, but for me, once I researched what my agency could or could not do and how the process would play out if my injury has permanent restrictions, I felt a little less stressed about it.

    Good luck to you

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: Now What

    Keep good records of all the times, and who, is giving you a "hard time" and file a complaint with your union rep. I don't know anything about unions and working for a city, but I know harassment is not looked upon anywhere kindly in the workforce, and harrassing you about following medical advice is crossing the line.

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