If I work for the department of corrections, can I be compensated if I was terminated while on medical leave due to things that happened to me while on the job ?

Because of some things that happened to me and stuff I had to see, I had some medical and mental problems. I was placed on leave by a doctor and soon after I was sent a Letter of Separation saying I had “voluntarily resigned”. When I brought to there attention that a mistake was made they admitted the mistake but said that it was “out of there hands” because ” the paperwork has already been done and sent in”. Naturally this has put a great strain on me and my family and made my medical condition, again a condition that was caused by working there, to become even worse.

Asked on October 18, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an employment attorney about your situation. If you were injured or otherwise suffered some medical condition on the job or due to work, you may have grounds for reinstatement and/or compensation (including worker's compensation). Or if your condition rises to the level of a disability, you may not be discriminated against in employment. Or if you specifically used Family and Medical Leave Act leave, you may not suffer retaliation for so doing.

However, if you were not injured on the job or by work, are not disabled under the law, and did not use FMLA leave, it may well be that your taking leave from work constituted voluntary resignation--apart from the examples given above, the law does not require employers to allow employees to take time off from work because they have a doctor's note. A doctor's note or doctor's recommendatio, without more, does not have legal effect. (Though you also need to review any rights you might have under any contracts or union agreements covering your job.)

Therefore, you may be entitled to reinstatement and/or compensation, or you might not be; it depends on the circumstances. You need to review those circumstances with an employment lawyer. Good luck.


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