Isn't my job protected when on disability?

I live in northeast Ohio. I used up my FMLA time during the summer, some of that time was approved short term disability. I returned to work for a month and my doctor has put me back on disability which may be long term. I confirmed with my STD insurance company that I am eligible for STD since I returned to work longer than 2 weeks. My doctor faxed the claim to my insurance company and to my employer. Now it looks as if they are trying to terminate me. Since all proper paperwork has been submitted, is this legal?

2 answers  |  asked Nov 4, 2009 9:22 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (2)

Neil Klingshirn
Your right to return to work after an illness or injury is different from your right to receive compensation as a result of missing work due to that illness or injury. Further, as Bruce indicates, your rights to job restoration or compensation will vary depending on whether your injury or illness was work related or not.

Assuming that your injury or illness was not work related, then your primary right to be restored to your job (i.e., not terminated for being unable to perform it) is the FMLA. If your FMLA rights are used up, your next best bet to protect your job is to request a leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation under the American's with Disabilities Act until you are ready to return to work. However, that request should be for a specific period of time, not for an open ended duration.

STD is a right to receive compensation during a time that you were unable to work. It typically does not protect your job.

As Bruce says, you should consult an employment attorney. The interplay of your return to work and compensation benefits during a medical are among the most complicated in employment law.

posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Nov 5, 2009 12:36 PM [EST]
Bruce Elfvin
It may depend on whether or not your leave is related to a work related disability. If you have exhausted the FMLA leave available then you have to look to the policies of the employer and other statutes. You will need to see an employment attorney near you.

You can find one at

posted by Bruce Elfvin  |  Nov 5, 2009 12:09 PM [EST]

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