My sister works for Hershey. As you may know they have announced plans to close plants, including her workplace in 2008.
She was injured on the job and sees a chiropractor for a back injury. She has a work comp claim that is ongoing, is restricted from heavy duty work and mandatory overtime.
She received a letter from the company stating she will need to see the company nurse in Dec. to discuss her work comp claim. She suspects this will be a buyout offer as two fellow employess just settled their claims and have left the company.
In her case she will need to remain with the company to receive their "generous" severence package, 5 1/2 months pay, stock of questionable value and of course unemployment benefits. Due to her age and injury it will be very difficult for her to find employment.
Her questions include the following: If she does not accept the buyout, how will the comp claim effect her in the future? What would be a could starting point of a buyout in number of years salary? If she does accept the buyout and is forced to leave the company, is she still elligible for unemployment and can she still push for the severence package?
Perhaps we are not asking "all the right questions" so any input on what she should or should not do would be appreciated.
I advised her to seek an attorney, but so far she has resisted based on concerns of very limited earnings in the future (she is single and no other income).
The company nurse has NOTHING to do with her comp claim. She should NOT speak to her and if your sister is in fear and does, she should NOT say anything. The only person she should be speaking to is her comp lawyer PERIOD.
A comp buy out has nothing to do with the company. Any severance package from the employer, Hershey in this case, due to closing is 'separate' from a workers' compensation claim.
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