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Thread: Fired while on worker's comp???

  1. #1
    maryjo is offline Member
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    Fired while on worker's comp???

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? FLORIDA

    Bear with me. This is going to be long and sort of complicated. But any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    I work with developmentally disabled people. I have been at this agency for 6 years. 4 years as a supervisor. Last summer one of my guys lost the ability to walk. For about 6 month I, and my staff, had to lift, lug, push, pull, roll, etc...this 70 year old, 5'10", 170 pounds of dead weight man. Since he didnt understand he made it worse by fighting against us, crossing his legs and holding them straight while we tried to change his diaper, and it goes on and on.

    Basically, after months of this (with no medical training to care for a person like this) I was in severe lower back pain. Because there was no specific incident that I could attribute the pain to, I didnt report it. I kept working and fullfilled all my job requirements. As of a month ago the pain had moved to my spine, hips, knees, shoulders and neck. Still I said nothing because I figured it was too late.

    Last month I was required to attend a class where basically they teach us how to restrain someone. I set through the first hour and a half of book work and then it was time to do the physical part. The very first thing you are required to do is 10 lunges all the way to the floor in 1 minute. I knew I wasnt going to be able to do that. When I informed the instructer of the class (who is also one of my supervisors) I was kicked out of the class. A few days later my executive director called me telling me she had just found out about my back problems and asked, if she could get it approved through worker's comp, would I be willing to go to a doctor. So that night I went to the clinic. I was given muscle relaxers, pain pills, a referral for physical therapy and told not to lift anything over 20 pounds and not to push, pull, squat, lift over my head, etc. The very next day I turned in the paperwork to our home office. I have followed the limitations but I have still continued working my job and fullfilling all my job requirements.

    During this time I had gotten a new job. At least I thought I had. A live in position where my son and I would both be living with one person I would be caring for. And a part time supported living coach. Everything seemed great until the lady running this new agency found out I turned in my resignation at the old agency. Then I found out that everything she told me was a lie.

    When I turned in my resignation I had asked to go PRN. As needed. Meaning they could call me if they had a shift open and I could work it if I wanted to. As a supervisor I had to give a 4 week notice which I did. They had filled my position within a few days so when I found out the week after I turned in my notice that I wouldnt be taking those jobs, I asked to change my notice from PRN to full time and was told yes. A few days later, after many people - including my assistant - were begging me to ask for my position back, I did. Frankly I needed the money. But I was sure they wouldnt give it to me because they had filled it....and I was right. That was ok. I expected that.

    At that time I was told that I would be a full time floater. Which means I would possibly work at all our houses. I was told which houses I would be working at. I was told that the last week of my notice I would probably have to work at one of them in particular because someone needed training for something and they would need the help. I was told they would pay me my supervisor's pay until the end of my notice (June 22nd) evn though I would be working as "direct care" at the other house and my pay decrease would happen on the 23rd.

    That was on Friday June 8th. Today I returned to work and around 4:30pm my program director (direct supervisor) and the executive director came to my house and asked to speak with me in my office. I was then told that the executive director had gone to someone on our board of directors and explained the situation to them about me being on worker's comp and having put in my notice and then changing from PRN back to full time. They told her to pay me through the end of the month and then let me go. Of course she said "We are not firing you." She had to say that because I am pretty sure its illegal to fire someone on worker's comp. She kept saying that with my limitations she didnt have any place to put me. She said she had just seen my list of limitations today yet I have been on worker's comp for 3 weeks. I have submitted all my paper work to the office after both doctor appointments and I specifically told her myself what my limitations were the day after my first appointment. She filed the worker's comp case herself. She sent me to the doctor. I have worked three weeks being on worker's comp and nothing was said. I was told very specifically that I could stay at full time hours, that I would be a floater, which houses I would be working at and how much I would be paid. All those things were told to me by the senior program director who is the supervisor between my supervisor and the executive director and she told me that this had all come FROM the executive director. And then today she said she had just seen my limitations, there was no where to put me, she wasnt firing me but the would pay me through then end of the month and then let me go.

    And then they made me leave mid shift and turn in my keys and gather my things before I left. If I wasnt being fired then why did I have to leave like that?

    So.....my question is this: Was any of this legal?????
    Last edited by maryjo; 06-13-2012 at 11:49 PM. Reason: Was told it was too long.
  2. #2
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Can anyone give me any direction?
    yes. Trim that down. Exclude superfluous statements and information and emotional concerns and try to shorten it up. Many folks will simply skip reading that due to the length.
  3. #3
    las365 is offline Senior Member
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    Yep, cut it way down.

    When were you injured?
    When did you file your workers comp claim?
    When were you fired?
    What reason did they give you for firing you?
  4. #4
    maryjo is offline Member
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    I expected that. Thats why I prefaced the entire post with "bear with me, this is going to be long and complicated." I felt it important to included all the important details. And yes, all these details were important and I did leave out as much as possible.
  5. #5
    maryjo is offline Member
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    [QUOTE=las365;3062225]Yep, cut it way down.

    When were you injured? Last summer. But it wasnt just a one time event that caused the injury.

    When did you file your workers comp claim? I didnt file it. My executive director filed it. May 24th.

    When were you fired? Today but they said "We arent firing you. We will pay you until the end of the month and then we have to let you go." And they took my keys and made me leave in the middle of my shift today.

    What reason did they give you for firing you?[They said they didnt have any place for me to work. I was going from full time supervisor to part time. They said I had started this ball rolling when I turned in my noticed. But I had changed my notice from prn to full time and was told that was ok. Then I was told last week I would be a full time floater, told where I would be working and how much I would be getting paid. TODAY they said because of the limitations from my worker's comp case that they didnt have a place to put me to work. /QUOTE]
  6. #6
    csi7 is offline Senior Member
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    When it comes down to workmen's compensation cases such as yours, it is really important to understand that each individual case is handled differently.

    Back injuries are unfortunately common hazards in health care situations with disabled individuals. You need to answer the questions posed, then sit down, write out the facts in a timeline, and start from there to learn what you can do to help your case.

    You do need to apply for unemployment now, answering the questions that come up concerning workmen's compensation honestly. Open your claim, and follow through on all the required job searches within your limitations.
  7. #7
    I'mTheFather is offline Senior Member
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    I read the whole thing, and much of it is unimportant. Please remove the details that have little bearing on the issue; for example, it doesn't matter that they paid you $10/hr instead of $9/hr.

    When did you resign?
  8. #8
    maryjo is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by I'mTheFather View Post
    I read the whole thing, and much of it is unimportant. Please remove the details that have little bearing on the issue; for example, it doesn't matter that they paid you $10/hr instead of $9/hr.

    When did you resign?

    The reason I included that was to prove that we had discussed how much I would be getting paid. That this information had come from my executive director. To show that a plan had been set last week for what I was going to be doing and she was part of that plan.

    I put in my notice on May 23rd. So I was wrong about the time my executive director filed the worker's comp claim for me. She filed it the week before on May 17th.
  9. #9
    I'mTheFather is offline Senior Member
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    I suspect they've accepted your resignation. Do you have any documentation to show that they allowed you to rescind it?
  10. #10
    I'mTheFather is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by maryjo View Post
    The reason I included that was to prove that we had discussed how much I would be getting paid. That this information had come from my executive director. To show that a plan had been set last week for what I was going to be doing and she was part of that plan.
    It's useless information, in my opinion. All that shows is that they had a plan for the last few weeks of your employment.
  11. #11
    maryjo is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by I'mTheFather View Post
    I suspect they've accepted your resignation. Do you have any documentation to show that they allowed you to rescind it?
    I have a text message from my senior program director that said "Sure you can do full time position and cancel PTO."
  12. #12
    I'mTheFather is offline Senior Member
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    I think that too can be interpreted to refer to your schedule for the remainder of your employment. I'm no expert in this area, though, so hopefully someone else will chime in.

    In the meantime, I strongly suggest that you edit your initial post. Many people will not bother to read it, and you'll be passing up an opportunity to get expert advice.
  13. #13
    maryjo is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by I'mTheFather View Post
    It's useless information, in my opinion. All that shows is that they had a plan for the last few weeks of your employment.
    It was made quite clear that I would NOT be leaving the agency at all. From the beginning. I was never QUITTING. I was going to go PRN which means i would still be employeed and could work whenever they needed me, if I wanted to. We have a couple of PRN employees that get to work whenever they want to. Since I didnt get the two other jobs I asked to change from PRN to full time AT THE END OF MY NOTICE which was supposed to be June 22nd. I was told that I could go to full time. And then a plan was made for where I would be working AFTER the end of my notice. Only it would be starting before the end of my notice. They would pay me my supervisor's pay until the 22nd and starting the 23rd I would have a drop in my pay. Why would three of us be planning for what I would be doing AFTER the end of my notice if they thought I was quitting. Which I never did?
  14. #14
    I'mTheFather is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by maryjo View Post
    It was made quite clear that I would NOT be leaving the agency at all. From the beginning. I was never QUITTING. I was going to go PRN which means i would still be employeed and could work whenever they needed me, if I wanted to. We have a couple of PRN employees that get to work whenever they want to. Since I didnt get the two other jobs I asked to change from PRN to full time AT THE END OF MY NOTICE which was supposed to be June 22nd. I was told that I could go to full time. And then a plan was made for where I would be working AFTER the end of my notice. Only it would be starting before the end of my notice. They would pay me my supervisor's pay until the 22nd and starting the 23rd I would have a drop in my pay. Why would three of us be planning for what I would be doing AFTER the end of my notice if they thought I was quitting. Which I never did?
    None of that changes how I view the situation. Yelling doesn't help either. In fact, it aggravates.

    Since it's clear that you have no intention of paring down your initial post, despite three admonitions to do so, my last words of advice are to seek legal counsel.
  15. #15
    maryjo is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by I'mTheFather View Post
    None of that changes how I view the situation. Yelling doesn't help either. In fact, it aggravates.

    Since it's clear that you have no intention of paring down your initial post, despite three admonitions to do so, my last words of advice are to seek legal counsel.
    Actually.....I DID cut it down. Go back and check.

    And I wasnt yelling. Why in the world you would think that I have no idea. I have been around this site for a long.....looooooong time. Although this is my first time leaving the family law section for help. I know how it works. I was merely pointing out that I had not quit. Something I had mentioned numerous times in my original post.

    And thats the whole reason I included so much information in my post. Because I know from experienc that the more information you include, the better help you get.

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