Disability and Work.. Please help

Hello everyone,

I'm in need of any and all suggestions right now.

So I was diagnosed with my AVM in Sepetmber 2009 after having been rushed to the hospital. I was in serious pain and didn't know where I was or who anyone else was for that matter. I just received a call from the corporate offices of my employer saying that my leave was not approved up to this point (I've been receiving state disability benefits since september because my doctor has me on an indefinite order of off work) and that I will be receiving a letter in the mail regarding my termination. Has this happenned to anyone else? I'm already getting the contact information to contact my congresswoman because this is absurd. but again if you've experienced anything similar to this.. or even if you haven't I'm open and grateful to any and all suggestions.

This sounds illegal. You should be protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Advising HR of this fact is sometimes enough, but you may need to find a lawyer to help you take the next step. There are lawyers who work free with the disabled, throught groups like the Epilepsy Foundation. Maybe someone here knows of another nonprofit that offers legal advice…?

I’m attaching info on the ADA’s guidelines on leave, by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
458-ADAonLeave.doc (87 KB)

I’d be curious to see what their reasoning is behind their decision to let you go. There are multiple Federal and Californin laws and acts that should protect you. That being said, they do have limitations, but it is pretty tough for employers to get rid of employees that are out on disability. In addition to the ADA that JH mentioned, you may want to look into the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) which was drafted by the Fair Employment & Housing Commission back in 1993. You said your employer was a corporation, which makes me beleive their is a pretty good chance that you would qualify for FMLA/CFRA. Unfortunately, these acts only cover about 3 months, but if you ARE eligible and your employer did not get the paperwork to you within the first couple of weeks that you were out on your medical leave, then you might have a strong argument against them.


Three words: Good Disability Lawyer

First consults are usually free. These guys speak the language and can make things happen if you’ve been wrongly dismissed.

Ron, KS

Thanks to both of you for the encouragement and information. it’s very much appreciated. I’m going to follow this through with the least amount of stress posed to myself. You know with these AVM’s we have to be careful with the stress level.

Hang on Jessica, I am not familiar with law at your country but my boss did imply that I should take no pay leave(obvious that I am redundant), I refused since I am only on crutches and my doctor says that is no point in stopping work at all. Luckily my coworkers are angels, I know I am in a very fragile position. Always remember that we must not leave work affect our health and stress level! There must be some organization to seek help.

Every part of that is illegal. You cannot be fired for any type of medical problem! Totally agree that a lawyer needs to be put into this mix. I would think that even a good threat of legal action might be enough for your employers to rethink their decision. I hope that all of this situation is resolved. It is the last thing you should be worried about. Every time I have to deal with my disability insurance company I alway think of the movie The Incredibles and how in the beginning Bob is working for an insurance company and he is concerned with the people and his boss is concerned with the share holders. It is sad, but all too true.

To all of you… Thank you so much for your responses. I’m feeling much calmer today and more in control of the situation. Thank you for all of the support and suggestions. I’ve contacted a ERISA attorney by email… since it is Saturday… and will hopefully be hearing something back from them by next week. I also intend to be contacting the CEO of my “employer”. How much good that will do I don’t know but please believe I’ll be keeping documentation of any and everything. For now though I intend to take a breather. I have my next appointment to get fitted for my radiation “mask” and my angio and cat and mri scans on Monday. HOORAY!!!
If life were easy it wouldn’t be life right? Blessings to all of you this weekend and in the future and I’ll keep you all posted.

Jessica, during my six weeks off I was on sick leave but I filled out papers for FMLA just in case my sick leave ran out. I was lucky that I accrued enough sick leave to take care of all my time off. However, my job has a program that will allow others staffers to donate leave to me if I ran out of time. Make sure there are no programs at your job that are similar that can cover you from this point forward. You did the right thing by contacting an attorney. Good luck!