I had a medical problem that caused me to exhaust my light duty prior to having surgery. It was known I would be off work for at least four months and when I returned I would not ever be able to return to the floor, but would require a desk job with limited standing and walking. When I was released by my physician, the human resources representative and I were looking for a new position. I used up my short-term disability and am now on long-term disability.
I was terminated months earlier when the HR rep said I had refused a job offer when, in fact, there were never any job offers. I tried to fight it, but had to focus on my own new job search. I am still angry at the decision by this company as I had worked for them for 12 years. Is it worth me trying to fight it six months after the fact?
Dear Nancy replies:
It is never a waste of time to obtain a consultation with a nurse attorney or other attorney in your state who works with employees to determine if you might have a legal cause of action against your former employer. If you decide to do so, the sooner you meet with an attorney the better, since there may be timeframes within which you must file a case, if you have one.
Although all of the facts surrounding your situation are not known, it seems wrongful termination would not fit into the situation you described. Wrongful termination usually occurs when an employee is fired because of speaking up about something that is illegal or about a hospital/facility practice that puts patients in jeopardy within the facility, or because an employee’s conduct is protected by law in other situations. One example of protected conduct would be fulfilling jury duty.
You mentioned a job offer you refused but never was offered to you. That in itself is disturbing. Why would it be said if it were not true? Is this an attempt by the employer to appear as though it met any obligations it might have had to you due to your medical situation and your leave from work? It seems from the brief information you presented in your question that your situation has more to do with employee protections under the Family Medical Leave Act or perhaps the Americans with
In preparation for your meeting with your attorney, you might try reading up on the FMLA and the ADA. The FMLA information can be found at (www.dol.gov/whd/fmla) and the ADA information at (www.ada.gov/cguide.htm#anchor62335).