Is my employer treating me illegally upon my termination?

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Is my employer treating me illegally upon my termination?

I was recently fired while on workers compensation for a torn rotator cuff that happened on duty. They claim I forged a doctors excuse but refuse to supply me with a copy of the excuse. Due to this allegation I’m not eligible for unemployment or wages from workers’ comp. Our company offers a Christmas club savings account that is taken out of our checks post tax. They are with holding my money from this account until I turn my badge in. Is this legal?

Asked on June 8, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) Regarding the termination: while there is not enough information in your question to definitely know whether they terminated you illegally or not, there is reason to believe that this may be have been illegal disability-based employment discrimination (discriminating against or harassing an employee due to a disability or injury): you should contact the federal EEOC and/or your state civil/equal rights agency about bringing a disability discrimination claim. (The law bars discriminating against employees, including terminating them, because of a disability or serious injury, so long as the employee has not also done something else--committed fraud; excessive absenteeism; insubordination; etc.--justifying the termination.)
2) Regarding the Christmas Club money: that is *your* money (since it's from your paychecks) and the employer has NO legal grounds to withhold it or condition its release on turning in your badge. You could sue for the money.
3) You can appeal the denial of your unemployment or worker's compensation: if the employer discriminated against you and cannot prove you did something wrong, you are entitled to these benefits. 
There are several different legal issues here, and several actions you may bring. It is strongly advised that you retain an employment law attorney to help you.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) Regarding the termination: while there is not enough information in your question to definitely know whether they terminated you illegally or not, there is reason to believe that this may be have been illegal disability-based employment discrimination (discriminating against or harassing an employee due to a disability or injury): you should contact the federal EEOC and/or your state civil/equal rights agency about bringing a disability discrimination claim. (The law bars discriminating against employees, including terminating them, because of a disability or serious injury, so long as the employee has not also done something else--committed fraud; excessive absenteeism; insubordination; etc.--justifying the termination.)
2) Regarding the Christmas Club money: that is *your* money (since it's from your paychecks) and the employer has NO legal grounds to withhold it or condition its release on turning in your badge. You could sue for the money.
3) You can appeal the denial of your unemployment or worker's compensation: if the employer discriminated against you and cannot prove you did something wrong, you are entitled to these benefits. 
There are several different legal issues here, and several actions you may bring. It is strongly advised that you retain an employment law attorney to help you.


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