Disability leave from work can be confusing and frustrating. Many workers simply want to take the time off, get paid while they rehab or recover from injuries, and then return. However, many workers are afraid that they will be terminated or fired during these periods off. They ask questions like, “I was terminated during my short term disability leave – can I sue?” and “Are the lawyers who handle these cases skilled enough to get my job back?” If you are in search of a qualified employment attorney for a wrongful termination or wrongful disability termination case, you have come to the right place. The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group is a Los Angeles law firm that handles various employment claims, including wrongful termination and short term disability claims.
What is short term disability?
Disability is offered to individuals who cannot work and must take time off from their jobs. Short term disability indicates that the injury is not permanent and the worker will return to the job within a few weeks. Short term disability benefits generally offer coverage in the form of income, at a reduced rate – 55% of your base income or two-thirds of it.
In California, injured workers can be eligible for short term disability insurance if they meet certain requirements. Their companies must also meet specific requirements. California employees must have earned at least $300 the year before. They can then have benefits for up to a year.
The Federal and Medical Leave Act is a Federal law that outlines many rules and regulations for leave and treatment of workers. It allows workers to receive up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. That is, employers do not have to pay workers their regular wages during this time and cannot fire them – but the workers can still receive disability benefits. The FMLA applies to businesses that have 50 or more employees located within 75 miles of each other or a work site. The employees themselves, in order to get coverage, must have worked for the employer for at least a year prior and for at least 1,250 hours in the previous year.
In summary, the FMLA allows workers to take up to 12 weeks off without pay form the employer, and short term disability offers coverage for up to a year.
Disability benefits offer wages and insurance, but they do not offer job protection. You can be terminated while you are receiving disability benefits. However, you cannot be terminated if you are taking your 12 weeks of unpaid leave. It is illegal for businesses to terminate employees who have disabilities, as well. The Americans with Disabilities Act prevents discrimination or terminated purely based on the presence of a physical or mental disability.
The ADA requires that employers provide reasonable accommodations to disabled workers. One of these accommodations can be to provide additional leave due to injuries. For example, if you were in a bad car accident and suffered two broken legs, you may need to go through various treatments and be unable to walk for a long period of time. You will then need to go through physical therapy to regain the ability to move. This could put you out for more than 6 months in some scenarios. Your employer is required to grant you reasonable accommodations that do not have an adverse affect on the company or are not too much trouble.
However, it could be very troubling to a company to not have a worker on during your absence. They can therefore hire someone in the meantime, but when you return, you must be given your old job or one that is substantially similar.
Filing a Lawsuit for Disability Violations
If you were fired because of a disability or if you were denied disability accommodations or insurance, you may be able to take legal action against your employer. It is illegal for your boss to refuse you accommodations or to fire you during your 12 week period of unpaid leave if you left under the FMLA.
If you were fired, you should acquire ample evidence. First, you should get proof that you were injured and needed to go on disability. You can provide medical receipts, doctor’s notes, treatment proof, and more showing the extent of your injuries and the necessity to sit out of work. You may procure a list of physical therapy sessions and other scheduling. It is important to establish the degree of injury you suffered, as some employers could use that against you when it comes to accommodations.
Next, you will need messages, exchanges, emails, voice mails, notes, and anything else from your employer. If there were statements made that deliberately showed discrimination or a refusal to grant reasonable accommodations, they can be provided. You should also bring this communication because it will prevent the employer from claiming that he was not informed of the disability or leave or that he did not know you needed or requested any reasonable accommodations.
If there were any coworkers who can testify to the discrimination or the choice to fire you despite being on protected leave, or to remove your benefits despite them also being protected, you can add their statements and testimonies to your claim. However, it is very hard to get these statements – your coworkers may not want to do anything that could potentially place themselves or their careers at risk. They may not be able to afford losing the job in the event of retaliation by providing you with testimonies, they are essentially working against the business, and this can be met with many adverse consequences. Although these consequences are generally illegal, the business will still do everything it can to get rid of such individuals.
You should get a copy of your employee handbook and reference it with the law. If there are additional rules in the handbook that were violated or there were certain points that were not listed or deliberately avoided, you can use it as proof for your claim.
Once you have all of this evidence gathered together it is wise to seek out a lawyer who can sue for disability violations. You should not try to handle the claim by yourself – you might not have any legal experience or knowledge, and if you try to negotiate or point out violations, the insurance agent may simply ignore you. We will ensure that the agent is paying attention to and dealing with your claim if he is not, we will be even more relentless and aggressive. Our job is to bring you the maximum coverage available, and that’s what we strive to do every time.
Statute of Limitations to File a Wrongful Termination or Disability Discrimination Lawsuit
The statute of limitations is the time during which you are legally allowed to file a lawsuit. If you do not file a claim within that time period, you will not be able to do so in the future. The sooner you gather your evidence and submit it, the more likely it is that the proof will be kept n tact and your claim will be a success.
The statute of limitations in California is 300 days from the date of the discrimination to file a disability discrimination lawsuit. If you choose to pursue a claim through the Federal EEOC, you only have 180 days. Once you submit your claim and evidence to the EEOC or DFEH, you will have 90 days to sue.
Many claims wind up thrown aside or rejected because the plaintiffs do not know there is a time limit on the claims. They often miss these important dates and end up unable to take legal action. It is important that you consult an attorney to determine the amount of time left on your case and to file a lawsuit before the deadline expires.
Compensation from a Disability Violation Lawsuit
You could earn various forms of compensation if you sue your employer for disability violations. You may be able to receive full reimbursement of the income and benefits you lost, as well as coverage for insurance. We can get you your old job back, but many individuals avoid reinstatement if the discriminatory individuals are still employer. We will also bring you pain and suffering damages for your emotional turmoil. You should not be expected to cover all of these damages if you were discriminated against or denied your rightful disability insurance.
Our Law Firm’s Promise
The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group is a law firm with experience in disability violations and numerous areas of employment law. We promise to always treat all of our clients with the utmost respect and attention, and we will look over your case and tell you what we feel it is worth. We have secured hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients throughout the years, and we fully back the rights of every work.
For a free legal consultation, call our law offices today. We’ll answer your questions and concerns and tell you more about our zero fee guarantee, which says you won’t pay a dime for our services. We’ll cover the costs of the case, and if we won, our payment comes from the settlement from the company. If we lose, we receive nothing.
Contact the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group if you need a disability violation attorney today.