I would like to know what my rights are

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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I would like to know what my rights are

I’ve been on LI since 6/30/17 for breaking my knee
at work. The doctor released me to modified duty on
11/13/17. In October, I was informed by my
supervisor that she was expecting me back to work
even though the doctor hadn’t released me yet. I
verified the issue with LI as well as my doctor,
neither of whom had any documentation about this at
that time. On 11/21/17, I received a certified
letter from work regarding the modified duty
position however, they wanted a response by
11/10/17 and it had been postmarked 11/13/17. Two
days ago 11/27/17, I received a letter regarding
COBRA insurance, at which I contacted the main
company and was informed I had been terminated as of
11/9/17. I’m now being told that it was because I
was not communicating with my employer and that I
had refused to come in for duty.

Asked on November 29, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It does not matter if your doctor has not released you to work: the law does not require employers to retain employees who cannot or will not work. The most an employer would have to let you be out of work for a medical reason is 12 weeks, that's IF the company is covered by FMLA (at leat 50 employees in a 75-mile radius); however, you have been out  now for almost 20 weeks. Your employer also is not required to give you "light duty"--they may if they choose, but the law doesn't make them give you a different or lighter job or responsibilities: you are expected to do the job you were hired for. Therefore, if you have been out since 6/30, you may be terminated.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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