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Help.. This CANT be legal....

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What is the name of your state? California

I was placed on disability by two physicians in California. I am a Public Schools Employee and applied for my LTD disability benefits as there are no short term benefits offered. I have been disabled and could not work since October 8, 2001. I received the disability acceptance letter horrified to find that I was "docked" the salary of the substitute who worked in my position. I work as campus security for a high school. The sub's salary was taken out of my disability benefit payments which left me $35 to $100.00 per month to live on.

Is this practice legal?? How can they expect for the disabled emplyee to survive paying the salary of another employee while on an approved medical leave??? Help Janaree
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Senior Member
This sounds bizzare, and I have NEVER heard of anything like that.

However, as I don't know what state or local law provides for people in your position, and have not read the benefits booklet you were given, or the plan, I have no idea what rights you may have, or its provisions. BUT it sounds bizzare and I would NOT take their word for it. I'd first ask, in a letter to the School Board's President, that they confirm what they have done and explain where they get the authority to do it.



I will write the school board president. The letter that was sent to me from the school district's risk managment department states that deductible income is SDI, Worker's Comp and any other insurance benefit and can be deducted from the benefit amount. This is reasonable. But Sub differential pay????? I have no idea what this is.. Anyway.. I will keep ya posted and thanx again............Janaree


Senior Member
I agree - this is very bizarre and I too have never heard of such a thing.

Assuming this is truly an LTD benefit underwritten by an insurance company (and not direct salary continuation from your employer) then you need to get your hands on the insurance booklet describing your LTD benefit and see what it says.

If it does not say that your benefit will be reduced by the salary any person hired to replace you (which would be very, very unusual if it did), then contact the federal Department of Labor immediately. In fact, even if it does say that, you should contact the DOL. This would be such an unusual qualfier they should be consulted.


Senior Member
This is not an unusual practice in the education profession. My wife, a teacher, also has the same provision.

I suggest you look at your employee handbook. The policy of your salary being adjusted to pay for a replacement should be shown there.

In fact, this is from the California Dept of Education:
"I am a teacher. Is my employer required to pay for a substitute teacher during my absence?

Because teachers generally get neither vacation nor compensatory time off during the school year, their only options under this law are time off without pay and possibly personal leave, unless their collective bargaining agreement provides for other alternatives. The school district would cover the cost of a substitute teacher through the salary savings gained from the classroom teacher's time off without pay. Check with your personnel director."
Source: http://www.cde.ca.gov/fc/family/fcparbro.html#absence

The fact that you were both off of work AND received pay would allow them to deduct from that pay for the replacement. The school shouldn't have to pay twice to do your job.


Yes, I would definitely check it out. You would think that this is not a novel situation and that the administrators know what they're doing....but we also know, this is not always the case.

Is the STD here synonomous with "salary continuation"? Perhaps so, bit I would think not. The fact that the STD comes in the form of a paycheck, which allows the employer to deduct income tax(if premiums were not paid be the employee), and other deductions, does not necessarily make it "salary" that would be subject to offsets for hiring a replacement.

By all means, get the documents and review carefully....good luck.


There is no mention in the policy handbook regarding the payment of another employee's salary when you are on a medically disability leave.... You know this is rediculous.To the teachers house husband, do not go there with me as I am the sole support in my househould and just about to lose my automobile and my home so you "help" someone else ok...

To add insult to injury, my salary was quoted incorrectly and the salary that was deducted for the sub's salary was greater than my own. Go figure....The letter also states that when I return to work and if there is money still owed for the sub's salary, it would be deducted from my normal salary...This is not a good incentive to make employees want to return to work. This is like a bad dream..

Disability benefit payments are there to help you financially while you are recovering.. Sick leave and vacation benefits are paid to the employee and the substitute..Sooo what is the difference . My position has to have a substitue during any leave as we are the first line of security for the high school students.

All employees should be made aware of this clause and given a choice to either pay into a state disability program that will assure them of some economic protection or depend on the employer who will be the only benefactor from their unfortunate illness and/or injury. Thanx for the DOL advice.. I will do that immediately...Janaree. I need to vent.........
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