Can I be terminated for having surgery ?

Asked in Warminster, PA , on Dec 7, 2021

I recently had surgery that my supervisor knew about a month a head and helped me choose the date . I had surgery and had to be out for 7-10 days because my doctors note was not accepted . They told me to go on STD but was denied because illness was not severe . I occurred occurrences during my 1.5 weeks off and am being terminated for having too many missed days . Can I fight this ? This is not fair and it was planned with the supervisor and told in advanced before they hired me. It’s a large company so I am just a number , but this is wrongful termination.

Answered on Dec 8, 2021

This is slightly off topic, however, if you have a physical injury that gets worse because of work, even if it was not originally work related, it can be covered under WC and when you are terminated with restrictions there is a much more direct path to be compensated. An injury can occur from an “incident” or from repetitive trauma or the like. I see this scenario alot with injured workers and they often do not realize this. In terms of your specific injury, you may need to provide more information for example, where you in a Union or was there an agreement. What was the nature of the condition, was it permanent or temporary, what were the policies and was there compliance and was there any effort to seek an accommodation. Good luck.

Is this considered employer retaliation and should I even consider filing a complaint?

Asked in North Wales, PA , on Aug 31, 2021

I was fired via text tonight following an apology/explanation for not getting to work when expected. I have no set hours typically show up whenever. However I was delayed because I was having an issue related to a recent surgery. This was causing pain and I took my prescribed medication for that pain. However I am not allowed to drive on it. Before I could say that I would ask for a ride and after explaining why I hadn’t made it in yet couldn’t drive I was fired. I had never once received any disciplinary talks, warnings, or complaints. On top of that, I consistently complete my work effectively and efficiently.

Answered on Sep 3, 2021

I am not sure of the specifics of your injury, but another thing to consider is that a work injury can include a worsening of a non-work related condition or a progressive condition. If you had some type of condition in that realm, you may also want to consider talking to a workers compensation attorney. If you had restrictions related to this type of injury, there is a a presumption that your lost wages after termination are work related. You would need to provide more facts. Good luck.

Can my employer give me an ultimatum, work 5 days a week or you resign?

Asked in Red Hill, PA , on Aug 26, 2021

I work in PA and have been with the company for 13 years. I currently work 4 days a week, part time. Agency is understaffed and they approached me and told me I had to work 5 days and it’s non negotiable. I said that doesn’t work for me bc of my kids and my health. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer this past year and I still struggle physically and have dr appts. I need that day off. They responded that they will take that has my resignation and my last day is 9/9. Can they do that? I see that more of a firing than resignation. Would I be eligible for unemployment?

Answered on Aug 27, 2021

Given that you have such a long history with the employer, you may also want to consider if there was any occupational exposures that could lead to thyroid issues. The occupations that see an increase in that include medical, dental and veterinarian offices, hospitals, security jobs, firefighting, fracking, air travel, a work site with high levels of radon (which is prevalent) and some industrial/manufacturing jobs. If this is the case or if there may be some fact specific issues not mentioned, you should talk to a workers compensation attorney on that issue. Good luck.

If I reschedule a panel Dr appt and employer wants me to go do they close my case?

Asked in Reading, PA , on Jun 9, 2016

I had a panel Dr appt yesterday and also had my first physical therapy appt and I was too sore and in pain which is normal after first session I called and reschedule for Friday because I knew I wouldn’t make it today and I took my muscle relaxers last night and today in the morning this pill makes me drowsy,sleepy and lightheaded my employer is obligating me to go today as they went and schedule me today without my consent I called manager and said I could not make it today and explained why they still want me to go and said if I didn’t go they can deny my case I am still under the first month someone please help me

Answered on Jun 13, 2016

The WC insurance company will take advantage of injured workers for as long as they can get away with it. Often they will tell you exactly who to treat with even in the first 90 days, which is inappropriate. You should have a list of provider, many of whom are bad option, but list nonetheless. There are several ways to get to other providers even during the 90 day period. If you feel you have a serious injury, the time is now to get advise from an attorney. They will be looking to cut off your claim with as little responsibility as possible – by calling it a sprain or a flesh wound and/or by bringing you back to early so they can send a suspension notice (if you get one of these get help asap). Often time PT causes injuries or makes people worse during the panel period. This will be a related injury but you need to handle it appropriately. I would say hire an attorney, if you are getting benefits now you would not be paying a fee unless they win in some way. Also the consults are free so there is little to lose. Good luck.

How much is my settlement for my elbow im told i wont be able to do my line of work ever again and my hourly wage was $13.00 an

Asked in Catasauqua, PA , on May 13, 2016

I shattered my left elbow at work and just got my third operation and now i am looking to get sn entire elbow replacement

Answered on May 15, 2016

To be honest with you, with my clients, I would hope that they get the elbow replacement first before settling. You want to be in a position that you can take care of yourself somehow after settlement and there is too much uncertainty when you have a surgery looming. The amount of the settlement and the advisability of settling are all things that are very fact intensive, you need several conversations and a work up before getting close to being able to answer this type of question. If you have not talked to an attorney you should, these cases are contingent, meaning you only pay if they win. There is very little risk in it and it leads to better results then those that try and go it alone. Good luck.

Can I quit my current job while being on lite duty on workers comp?

Asked in Lancaster, PA , on Feb 9, 2016

I’m on workers comp in Pa, my company moved me to a plant 30 mins away from my home (I’m usually at the one 10 mins away from home) because I’m still on lite duty. I don’t like the drive at all and they changed my hours. My question is can i quit this job while being under my docs care and get another job? Can someone hire me under these circumstances? What would be my options?

Answered on Feb 15, 2016

You should definitely not quit, that could compromise your WC claim. If the drive is physically painful or creating symptoms that may be a basis for you to request additional accommodations. You may also have protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act. I would not make any moves without talking to an attorney first, as someone else no doubt mentioned, consults are free for this type of case. You may have a large case than you anticipate and quiting would definitely compromise that. Good luck.

Can you sue workers compensation insurance company?

Asked in Berwick, PA , on Aug 10, 2015

I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that they gave me a hard time since day one. It’s now over 2 yrs since injury and had to go thru my health insurance to find the cause of the pain but is directly related to the injury. Plenty more to add.

Answered on Aug 11, 2015

As the remainder of attorneys mentioned, a workers compensation claim is a suit against the insurer. There are occasions when an insurer might be sued directly, the last I recall with for a fabricated for cause termination that led to a defamation claim. I am not sure what would be available in you case given the limited facts. WC insurers are the worst, I think everyone on this site understands just how hard these insurers are to deal with – insult to injury. Good luck.

Is it illegal to abandon someone outside their home state

Asked in Bethlehem, PA , on Jul 29, 2015

My boyfriend works for a welding company based in PA. He and one other person are currently working in Albany, NY. He was injured on the job due to poorly maintained equipment. He needed stitches and was given narcotic pain medication. He attempted to work today on light duty, but between the meds and the heat he felt I’ll and was returned to the hotel. His boss began to act weird at that point attempting to force him to work. He proceeded to get a no work note from the doctor that took care of him. His concern at this point is that his coworkers will attempt to leave without him.

Answered on Jul 30, 2015

I do not know anything on point about leaving someone in another state, since the intent would have arose in NY, it would likely be a NY civil law question. However, the injury could be a PA workers compensation claim, if it was a contract/agreement in PA to work out of state. You should talk to a WC attorney as well. If the stitches are in a visible area, there might be a separate benefit that he would be entitled to – that the insurance company would never give voluntarily. The point of the claim where you are just hurt, if most important, if PA law applies he would need to avoid quitting or get fired at this point. That is out with restrictions is a good thing, they usually try to remove the restrictions and then fire people – less responsibility.

Workers Compensation and scars of the face and neck

Asked in Pottstown, PA , on Jul 22, 2015

Question concerns wether or not workers compensation will automatically pay additional monies for lacerations to the face or neck? I recently had to have surgery to my neck and I have a scar above the shirt line. Yesterday my son suffered a pretty long laceration on his nose (surgeon lost count of stitches), which like myself, is a result of a work related injury.
I’m wondering if there is such a compensation for scars, and is this something that is automatically paid, or is this something that must be handled by an attorney?

Answered on Jul 22, 2015

Unfortunately, in my experience, nothing is automatic with the insurance companies. I just had a client who waited to long after a neck surgery (cervical discectomy) and was paid the disability but not the scarring. It is usually a fight. Some people use a rule of thumb that you may be paid 10 weeks for each inch of scarring, but often times you can do better by pointing to comparative cases that have already been decided – there are 100’s of them. Good luck to you both, don’t let the insurance company off the hook, they have an obligation and you should push for what you deserve.

Can I still get a lump sum settlement from workers Comp if I quit my job while I'm on workers Comp?

Asked in Tunkhannock, PA , on Jul 15, 2015

I live in Pennsylvania and I’ve worked for the same company for 20 years, but I started having issues with my foot and I’ve had two surgeries and still have the same issues. My husband was offered a job out of state and took it but than after starting his job out there he didn’t like the area and came back. Before he left I told my employer I wouldn’t be back, but before we did anything I asked my insurance adjuster if it would affect my claim if I moved and she said it wouldn’t. I’ve been told by my doctor I can’t go back to doing the same kind of work I was doing, but I can do office type work which I have no experience. I’ve only done Manuel labor for the last 20 years. I just want to know if I can get a lump sum settlement. Thanks for your time.

Answered on Jul 17, 2015

It sounds like you have not yet quit the job, if that is the case, you should be talking to an attorney about settlement options. Quitting generally hurts a case unless it is because of work related reasons (but even still it is an unnecessary fight). It also sounds like you have been on compensation for at least a year or two as well, which is about the time most insurance companies get serious about removing you from benefits. The fact that you may be able to do sedentary / office type work could give them an opportunity. It’s hard to tell where you are at in the claim from the information above, but one example is if you had a recent IME they could use the restrictions to set up a labor market survey and attempt to reduce your weekly check by the amount they claim you could earn if you took a job that is within your capacity (usually something you do not want, like a telemarketing job etc). If you do not adequately prepare for these types of scenarios it could hurt you claim as well. As an aside, I hope you are not continuing to treat with the panel providers, you can move on to another provider after the first 90 days, which is usually in your interests. The long and short of it is, you always have a chance for a properly done settlement but a resignation could reduce the amount you ultimately receive. Good luck.