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lay-off while on short term disability

We have an employee that we wanted to lay-off. Before we could do that he went on short term disability. We still want to get rid of him but don't know how to legally do that while he is collecting disability. What can we do? I should also mention that he has missed 98 days in 2002, 25 in 2001, 33 in 2000 and 7 in 1999 (Sept to Dec).

2 answers  |  asked Jan 15, 2003 2:59 PM [EST] in Employment Law  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (2)

Christopher Ezold
Termination of Employee on Disability Leave

Ms. Hilt:

Whether an employee is taking short-term disability (STD) leave is, of itself, irrelevant to whether you can terminate him. So long as the employee is an at-will employee, you can terminate him regardless of whether he is on any kind of leave. If the employee has a contract or is a union member, you will have to comply with the terms of the contract or collective bargaining agreement.

However, your question becomes complicated if the reason for the termination is related to the disability that caused the employee to take STD leave. Whether the employee can do the job with or without his disability, whether the employee asked for or was given a reasonable accomodation and the impact of doing so on your business are all factors to consider. Furthermore, the size of your business may impact whether certain laws apply to you, and what your obligations are. If you wish to discuss these issues further, please feel free to call me at the below number.

Christopher E. Ezold

Nancy O'Mara Ezold, P.C.
401 City Line Avenue, Ste 904
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585

posted by Christopher Ezold  |  Jan 16, 2003 2:10 PM [EST]
DAVID L. BARGERON
Lay Off Disability Employee

You may lay off this employee so long as your reasons for doing so are non-discriminatory. Basically, you cannot terminate any employee becuase of what they are - relating to a protected class. So long as you treat everone equally there is no problem.

posted by DAVID L. BARGERON  |  Jan 15, 2003 10:07 PM [EST]