If I have been on long term sick leave but am now ready to return to work, was it lawful for my employers give my job to someone else during my absence?

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If I have been on long term sick leave but am now ready to return to work, was it lawful for my employers give my job to someone else during my absence?

Long term sick due to diabetic complications resulting in an amputation to my right leg. I have been absent since February 2017. I have worked for the company for 24 years working my way up to warehouse team leader, I stepped down from this role to become a cell leader in February 2017. I am in a wheelchair at present and am in the process of getting an artificial leg at present. The company are saying I am not able to do my job due to hs issues but I do not see this as a problem due to me being based at a desk away from forklift for 99.9% of the time. They have offered me another job but I do not feel that I am qualified enough for this role.

Asked on March 1, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Montana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it was lawful: the law does NOT require an employer to retain an employee in the same position--or, for that matter, at all--if they can't work for a year. Under FMLA, for example, the most they have to hold your job for a health-related absence is 12 weeks/3 months. They could have simply and legally terminated you; if anything, they are being generous and doing more than required by offering you any position.


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