Advice needed - Lost job due to disability

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Latest post Mon, May 19 2008 5:45 PM by LynnM. 3 replies.
  • Mon, May 19 2008 2:51 PM

    • dcjr
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Mon, May 19 2008
    • Posts 1

    Advice needed - Lost job due to disability

    State - North Carolina

    I am a c5-c6 quadriplegic(1996 diving accident) and have been a programmer/analyst for a major bank for last 7 years. In November of 07' I had to go on FMLA leave for medical reasons. My return date was slated for February 08' but I missed my 12 week window by 4 days. I know my position can replaced after the 12 weeks but what bothers me is when I contacted my manager for return he told me "You need to get your doctors to sign off on long term disability". By the end of the conversation it was clear there was no option of return.

    In all my years there I never complained when others were promoted over me even though I was more skilled. I never asked for modifications to my workspace, I never questioned my co-workers being offered additional training and me excluded. All I wanted was to work and feel like I was contributing to society. I know what happened in the past it's to late to complain about it now. I just feel like the day my manager signed my FMLA form it was basically my pink slip.

    Whats almost laughable is after 7 years I finally got my first promotion in Jan 08'(while on medical leave). The only reason I got the promotion is the bank promoted all Programmer I to Programmer II, there was only 5 bankwide.

    On top of all that the bank still has me listed on medical leave so when I tried to get a hardship withdrawal from my 401k I was denied.

    Any advice on what I can do would be much appreciated.

    Sorry so long, thank you for your time and thanks for reading

    -d
  • Mon, May 19 2008 3:04 PM In reply to

    • Beth3
      Consumer
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Mar 24 2001
    • Posts 5,466

    Feedback [*=*] re: Advice needed - Lost job due to disability

    "I know my position can replaced after the 12 weeks but what bothers me is when I contacted my manager for return he told me "You need to get your doctors to sign off on long term disability". By the end of the conversation it was clear there was no option of return." As you said above, once the 12 weeks of FMLA were exhausted, they had no obligation to return you to work. It appears your manager was attempting to make a helpful suggestion, albeit not in a tactful or even helpful way.

    "On top of all that the bank still has me listed on medical leave so when I tried to get a hardship withdrawal from my 401k I was denied." That doesn't make sense as hardship withdrawals are designed specifically for individuals who are currently employed. Your request for a withdrawal would have been denied if it didn't meet the very limited criteria IRS reg's allow however.

    If your employer refused to grant you four additional days of leave BECAUSE you have a disability and they want to be rid of you, you may have a discrimination claim to bring, particularly if they've ever granted additional leave time to anyone else who exhausted their 12 weeks of FMLA. I suggest you speak to an employment law attorney
  • Mon, May 19 2008 3:09 PM In reply to

    re: Advice needed - Lost job due to disability

    "... what bothers me is when I contacted my manager for return he told me "You need to get your doctors to sign off on long term disability". By the end of the conversation it was clear there was no option of return."

    But you *were* terminated, yes? Or did you just assume? Your post doesn't really make that clear by the time we read the part about the 401k hardship withdrawal denial.

    You also don't give us context as to when this conversation took place.

    "I just feel like the day my manager signed my FMLA form it was basically my pink slip."

    Not sure what you mean here.

    "On top of all that the bank still has me listed on medical leave so when I tried to get a hardship withdrawal from my 401k I was denied."

    And did you look into this with someone higher up at the bank??

    "Any advice on what I can do would be much appreciated."

    Not much aside from filing for unemployment benefits (which I trust you did), based on your post.
  • Mon, May 19 2008 5:45 PM In reply to

    • LynnM
      Lawyer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Apr 3 2000
    • CA
    • Posts 28,248

    re: Advice needed - Lost job due to disability

    12 weeks means 12 weeks. Long term disability generally refers to an insurance policy, not something that's required to return to work. In any event, it's not like the date you had to return by was a surprise.
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