Legal Question in Employment Law in South Carolina

Discrimination

I was hurt at work and notified my supervisor of the accident.A few days later I went to the doctor and was put on light duty.My employers told me I would just have to go on short-term disability.They said that they did not believe I had the accident at work.But at the same time their were many others at work walking around on crutches and one with a cast on his arm.All were hurt off duty at home.But yet they were allowed to stay at work.Two months after I was on short term,my employer notified me to tell me that I was terminated. The reason was that I went (2) two days without contacting my employer.My question is as follows: Can you be fired while on short-term disability while under doctors care and orders from the doctor stating that you are temporaly disabled and are not able to work?

Asked on 9/06/00, 10:23 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

William O'Neil O'Neil Law Firm
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Re: Discrimination

You need a lawyer. Call My office 843-448-0920. Sounds like you are getting the shaft.

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10/06/00, 8:43 am
Alton L. Martin, Jr. Martin & Martin Attorneys, PA
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Re: Discrimination

Your employer has done several things wrong. Once you reported that you had been injured on-the-job, workers' compensation came into play. Your employer's workers' compensation insurance should have paid you 2/3 of your wages. You should not have been required to go on short-term disability. Your employer does not want to accept your accident claim because their workers' compensation insurance premium will increase. Also, under workers' compensation you are entitled to a lump sum payment from any impairment resulting from your injuries. Your employer would not have this expense if you were on short-term disability.

Secondly, if other workers were provided light duty work and you were not, then your employer likely violated the statute against workers' compensation retaliation. When you claim to have been injured on-the-job, your employer cannot take any negative employent action against you as a result of your claim. Refusing to provide you with light duty and terminating you would certainly be considered negative employment actions. Under this statute you can receive reinstatement to your job and up to one year of back pay.

Finally, if your employer terminated you while on 2 month medical leave, it likely violated the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA provides that an employee is entitled to 12 weeks leave for a serious medical condition. Your employer may have also violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) if they terminated you because of a perceived disability.

If you have any other questions, please e-mail or call me and I would be happy to assist you with your case.

Sincerely,

Al Martin

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10/06/00, 10:06 am

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