Thursday, June 16, 2022

Can An Employee Be Terminated While On Short Term Disability

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Do Disability Payments Continue After Termination

Should I have Short-term Disability Insurance?

While it is rare, some long-term disability policies do state that employees are ineligible for disability benefits if the employer has terminated their employment for cause. Whether your specific disability policy contains this type of language will determine whether a for-cause termination precludes receipt of long-term disability benefits.

It also bears mentioning that your health insurance coverage will also likely be affected by your termination. Employer-sponsored healthcare benefits typically end upon the final day of the month in which the employee was terminated, unless the employee elects to continue coverage via COBRA. This can cause issues with your ongoing long-term disability claim, as you are still required to provide ongoing proof of disability in order to maintain your disability benefits. Therefore, if financially possible, it is important that you continue to seek medical treatment despite your lack of employer-sponsored healthcare benefits. In addition to COBRA, you may be eligible for discounted health coverage via www.healthcare.gov.

Job Protection Under State Leave Laws

Most states have their own laws regarding unpaid leave for medical reasons, and most of these laws provide similar protections as the FMLA. Some state leave laws, however, are more generous than the FMLA. For instance, the California Family Rights Act requires your employer to continue all group benefits while you are out on leave. Check with your state’s Department of Labor or an employment law attorney for information on your state’s leave policies, especially if you aren’t covered by the FMLA.

Can You Be Fired For Being On Sick Leave

In most situations, you can fire employees for no reason because theyre working at-will, and youre employing them at-will.

However, you want to ensure youre abiding by all leave laws.

Employees cant be fired just because theyre sick. Your reason for firing the employee shouldnt be because theyre ill or on medical leave. Instead, your reason for terminating an employee should be because of job performance-related issues or company layoffs.

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Ask The Expert: Can We Terminate An Employee On Short

We have an employee that was in a minor car accident last month and has used up all of her paid time off . She is working on the paperwork for short-term disability as she has filled her elimination period. She will not show the employer the application. Is she obligated to if the coverage is non-contributory?

Do we have to keep her employed? Is this an FMLA issue?

Thank you for your inquiry regarding an employee who has applied for short-term disability insurance.

STD benefits. Typically, STD insurance is purchased by an employer and the employees right to benefits is determined by the insurance company, not by the employer. Unless the policy provides otherwise, the employer is not entitled to see the information the employee provides to the insurance company.

FMLA. Your question indicates your organization has 20 employees which is below the 50-employee threshold required for employer coverage under the FMLA. The FMLA affects private employers with 50 or more employees for each working day during each of 20 or more weeks in the current or preceding year. All public employers are covered, regardless of size. There are also special provisions for teachers and other instructional employees of public and private elementary and secondary schools. Learn more about employer coverage and employee eligibility on HR.BLR.under the Leave of Absence topic.

Is My Employer Required To Allow Me Leave To Care For A Disabled Relative

Can You Be Fired While On Short

No. Under the ADA an employer is not required to modify its leave policy to allow an employee to care for a family member. Employees can only seek a reasonable accommodation for their own disabilities. However, under the FMLA, an employee can take leave for a serious health condition of spouse, parent or child.

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Can You Be Fired While On Disability In Ontario

Can an employee be fired while on disability in Ontario?

According to a Statistics Canada survey conducted in 2012, nearly 4 million Canadians had a disability that limited their daily activities, including more than 15% of Ontarians. Weve discussed before some of the benefits available to Ontarians when a disability prevents them from earning an income through work, including:

Today, we want to discuss a related question that we often hear: Can an employee be fired while on disability in Ontario?

Lets explore those two points in more detail.

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Can A Disabled Employee Be Terminated

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, you cant fire an employee because they are disabled. The ADA protects employees from work-related discrimination based solely on their disability.

Employees must have an ADA qualified disability to have these protections, which means the disability leads to substantial limits based on mental or physical abilities.

You have to provide reasonable accommodations to your employees who have a disability. A reasonable accommodation is simply an adjustment to how they complete the work that makes them able to be successful with their disability. One accommodation could be a reasonable medical leave depending on the employee and their condition.

In this case, you cant terminate them because they have to go on leave since its considered a reasonable accommodation for their disability.

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Who Is Entitled To Leave Under The Law

Not all people with disabilities qualify for protection under the ADA. One criticism of the ADA is that many people fail to qualify for protection under the law for having disabilities that are either too severe, or not sever enough to warrant legal protection under the act.

According to the ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who:

  • has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
  • has a record of such an impairment or
  • is regarded as having such an impairment.

For more information, see our page on disability discrimination.

Also, not everyone is protected by the FMLA. Both you and your employer must meet certain qualifications.

Employer requirements: To be covered by the FMLA, your employer must have 50 or more employees on the payroll for 20 work weeks during the current or preceding calendar year. Only employees who work for your employer within a 75-mile radius of your worksite count toward the 50-employee total.

  • To determine whether your employer is covered, find out how many employees are on the payroll, including those on leave and working part-time.
  • If your location does not have 50 employees, find out whether your company has other employees at locations within 75 miles of where you work.

Employee requirements: To be covered by the FMLA, you must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months and for at least 1,250 hours during the last year.

What Do I Do If I Am Being Denied Leave

If I’m fired from my job can I still file for LTD insurance benefits?

When you request a leave, put the request in writing, explaining the reason for leave and how long a leave you need. Keep copies of everything you send to and receive from your employer, as well as copies of doctor’s notes and any other medical documentation.

If you are denied leave, you may want to file a grievance. If you are a union member, you may be able to file a formal grievance through the union. Try to get a shop steward or other union official to help you work through the grievance process. Some employers have policies for handling a dispute regarding leaves. You may be able to resolve the dispute internally with your employer. Find out what your employer’s policies are by looking in your employee manual or other sources of personnel policies. If your company has a human resources department, they may be able to help.

However, even if you file a grievance with your employer, the deadlines to file in court or with an administrative agency still apply, so be sure not to miss them.

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Family And Medical Leave Act

The FMLA is enacted to help employees balance their work and personal life. Under this law, certain employees are allowed up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave.

What is a job-protected leave?

This means that you can take leave from work for up to 12 weeks and your employer cannot terminate you. If your leave exceeds 12 weeks, you are no longer protected by law and can be legally dismissed.

The act applies to employees of:

  • public agencies
  • elementary and secondary schools
  • companies with 50 or more employees

If you have worked for your current employer for at least 1,250 compensable hours over the past 12 months, you are entitled to an FMLA leave. Compensable hours are determined according to the principles of theFair Labor Standards Act .

It also provides that you are only eligible for job-protected leave under the following reasons:

  • birth and care of your newborn child
  • placement of your child for adoption or foster care
  • to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition
  • to take medical leave when you are unable to work because of a serious health condition.

If you qualify for FMLA but still got terminated, you can file forreinstatement or claim damages from your employer.

What If The Employee Is Denied Std Or Ltd Benefits

An employee may be denied disability coverage for many reasons, some of which may include that they do not believe they are fully disabled in accordance to the policy. Even if the employee has ample documentation to support their claim including medical records and doctor notes, it may be deemed insufficient. A worker who has been denied for benefits has two options. The first is to appeal the decision. A worker can do this up to three times, and each one must be done within 90 days of the decision. It is important to note that unless a workers physician can provide significantly different documentation to support their claim, it is not the best choice to appeal the decision.

The second option a worker has is to commence an action against their insurance company for wrongful denial of disability benefits. To achieve the best outcome, it is preferable to retain legal representation. This will take the stress off the employee and allow them to focus on recovering. Monkhouse Law would be happy to assist in a wrongful denial of benefits claim. For a free consultation, please call 416-907-9249.

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Can You Be Fired While On Long

LTD Benefits

Generally, LTD benefits are an insurance policy that protects an employee from loss of income in the event he/she is unable to work due to illness, injury, or accident for a long period of time. Typically, LTD benefits work in conjunction with short-term disability benefits, in the fact that they begin to assist the employee when STD benefits end, and they typically pay an employee a predetermined percentage of their salary. Thus, LTD benefits are an important component of a comprehensive employee benefits package. In fact, according to experts, long-term disability insurance coverage is as important to an employee as life insurance. Accordingly, each employee should understand the nuances of his/her LTD insurance policy.

Every LTD insurance policy has different conditions for payout, what constitutes a disability, or any pre-existing conditions that may be excluded, as well as various other conditions. For example, some policies will pay disability benefits if the employee is unable to work in his or her current profession, while others require the employee to take any job he/she is capable of doing.

LTD and Termination

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What Are The Remedies Available To Me

Can You Be Terminated While on Long

Victims of disability discrimination can recover remedies that include:

  • back pay
  • compensatory damages
  • punitive damages
  • other actions that will make an individual “whole”

Remedies also may include payment of:

  • attorneys’ fees
  • expert witness fees
  • court costs.

An employer that violates the ADA may be required to post notices to all employees addressing the violations and advising them of their right to be free of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. If necessary, such notices must be accessible to persons with visual or other disabilities that affect reading.

The employer may be required also to take corrective or preventive actions with regard to the source of the discrimination and minimize the chance it will happen again, as well as discontinue the specific discriminatory practices involved in the case.

Your state law may allow for greater or different remedies than federal law .

Remedies for violation of the FMLA:

If an employer is found to have violated FMLA, remedies available to the employee may include:

  • wages
  • employment benefits
  • other compensation denied or lost to the employee
  • actual monetary loss to the employee . This is limited to 12 weeks of the employee’s wages
  • interest
  • an equal amount in liquidated damages unless the employer can show action was taken in good faith. This is often called double damages.

The employee may also obtain other forms of relief, such as:

  • employment

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Is Your Job Protected While You Take Short

Unlike a leave of absence you might take under the Family and Medical Leave Act , short-term disability doesnt offer any direct job protection. Many people are surprised to hear that you can legally be fired from your job while on leave, and you also arent entitled to the exact same position when you return.

However, the Americans With Disabilities Act protects people who meet the ADAs definition of disability, and makes it far more challenging for companies who are covered by ADA to fire an employee due to their disability.

Before terminating an employee, the company must first determine whether or not there are any accommodations they could make that would allow the employee to adequately do their job.

The company must work with the employee to try several variations of accommodations in an effort to find something that works. If theres no reasonable way to enable that person to fulfill the essential responsibilities of their position, only then can the employer explore termination of the employee.

Termination Unrelated To Medical Leave

The law is clear that an employer can terminate a disabled employee without cause provided that:

a) that the reason for termination is entirely unrelated to the employees medical leave or disability and

b) that employee is paid the proper amount of severance to avoid a wrongful dismissal.

Lets use the following example to illustrate this point:

Terry is 53 years old and has worked as a production manager for ABC Co. for 10 years. A year ago, Terry went on a medical leave of absence and is set to return in one months time. Unfortunately, Terrys employer has had several quarters of poor financial results and has recently made the decision to eliminate Terrys position, along with several others in his department.

Though Terry is on a medical leave, his employer can end his employment on the basis that his position has been eliminated. This kind of restructuring is a perfectly legitimate and acceptable ground to terminate any employee, regardless of health status. In this circumstance, Terrys termination entitlements will be significant. Given his age, position and years of service, Terry would be owed approximately 12 to 14 months of compensation as an appropriate severance package.

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Can An Employee Receiving Long Term Disability Benefits Be Fired

This article covers one of the most sensitive subjects in employment. Terminating an employee receiving long term disability benefits is a very delicate topic. It is unfair for the employee if their employer shows apathy for an employer insurance payments can amount to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per month.

Lets break down some realities of long term disability in Ontario from the point of view of employers and employees:

  • The employee needs time to recuperate and recover
  • He or she may or may not be able to return to their previous role
  • The employer is paying large insurance premiums for an employee who is not contributing productively
  • The employee may never contribute productively in the same capacity
  • There is great uncertainty for both as to how long this situation could and should last

To understand if an employee receiving long term disability benefits can be fired, lets answer the questions that all employment law firms in Toronto are asked by employers and employees.

When Is It Safe To Terminate An Employee On Medical Leave

“I’M OUT ON DISABILITY ….. and THEY FIRED ME YALL!”

Typically, youre safe to terminate an employee on medical leave when the reason for termination has nothing to do with their leave.

Some typical times when its legal to do so is when:

  • You have no choice but to lay off employees due to a reduction in work or closing offices.
  • They have a prior history of performance-related issues, and they would have been terminated. anyway, had they not been on medical leave.
  • The employee has been proven to be engaging in inappropriate behaviors while on leave that are illegal or fraudulent.

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Is Your Job Protected While On Long Term Disability Indefinitely

Once an insurer accepts a long term disability claim, it does not end the employer-employee relationship. The employer is expected to show that accommodations were made to help the disabled employee return to work. Similarly, the employee must show efforts as well and their ability to perform the allotted role.

However, if the employee is still unable to return to work, the employment contract will stand frustrated. This is a legal concept in which an intervening event has rendered the contract unable to be fulfilled. In this case, frustration would be precipitated by the disabled employees inability to perform the role.

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