I would like to know what my rights are

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.


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