Does my employer have the right to furlough me until newwork comesin while I’m on a short term medical disability?

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Does my employer have the right to furlough me until newwork comesin while I’m on a short term medical disability?

I’m on medical short term disability. For an interim period my employer is considering a furlough (no pay/benefits) until the next contract comes in. Is this possible? My employer has a contract with the US Government that lapses 11/3/10. A proposal is in and the Government plans to award my employer with another contract about mid-December 2010.

Asked on October 27, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your employer may not furlough you *because* you are on disability, but being on disability does not prevent your employer from running his or her business, making business decisions, etc. For example, if the business was going out of business, your employer would not be required to keep the doors open just for you to return to after disability. Similarly, if it would be normal or reasonable for your employer to furlough an employee like yourself while in-between contracts--particularly in this economic climate--then he may do so. Again, he can't do this because you're on disability, so if you think it's just a pretext that he claims it's while between contracts, you should speak to an employment attorney about whether you in fact have a case.


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