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Short Term Disability

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My Doctor has put me on disability for the stress of the job and severe depression. My concern is that being an executive with the Company I have seen what they have done to other employee’s privacy. I also witness and have been put in situations by the company to force out and or put pressure on employees that they feel are undesirable or costly to the company. I now fit both of those categories and I know that they will look for every angle to terminate me. They have already shown signs that I will be harassed until I quit. This is a very tight net work force. In my current position we know all the competitors and I know that I will be blackballed from ever getting a job at this level and salary. That is why I need to protect my current salary.
a.On a Monday I was put on short-term disability from my Dr.
b.I was to get my yearly review the next day, Tues. from my boss. At that time I planed to let him know that I would be taking STD.
c.I never got my review however he did demote me from my position and cut my salary by 10,000 and took away a 6,000 car expense.
d.I did not tell vp of human resources that I was taking STD until Thursday.
C.Now they are holding to that date that was given to the vp of human resources, so that they will have to pay me the lower salary. Can I protect my original salary? Also this may go into Long-term disability.


Senior Member
I've seen what some big companies can do also -- and it is not always pretty.

First let's face the fact that it always is possible, and perhaps in some cases likely, that what causes a disability also did contribute to diminished on the job performance (even to merit a pay cut and decrease in allowances and perqs). But it is also possible that through the grapevine they got wind of it -- such as if you told someone (ANYone) or made doctor appointments that someone advised them of, or filed medical claims (yes, word can get out...), or the doctor's secretary is a friend of a spouse of an employee, etc.

Also a doctor did not put you on STD, he told you to stop working and you (probably wisely) followed his advice did not come to work and applied for STD benefits, which the insurer has to evaluate and if justified pay. (As many plans are experience rated and/or partially self funded, it is the employer that winds up paying in the end.)

The first thing to do is to CAREFULLY check the langauge of the Plan. How are benefits calculated? Does it use salary as of the date of disability or as of a the end of the previous month? Or a different date? Does it include perqs?

If your company has a pattern of trying to cut those on STD and keep them from going on LTD, or ever returning to work, it is also time to get some professional advice now.

For example, you will want to create an unassialable medical record that you are entitled to be on STD and/or LTD, and that may mean more tests, more doctors' evaluations, etc. You'll want a lawyer familiar with benefits and employment matters to review the plan to make sure of what you are, and are not, entitled to.

At some point it may also be appropriate to have a lawyer representing you contact the firm -- it can be a "friendly contact" -- to in effect put them on notice that you have legal representation and that if they make trouble, you'd be ready. Or perhaps you'd be able to work out a settlement that would work in both your interests -- such as if the firm's pension plan is overfunded, you'd be willing to take (if eligble -- or made eligible) early and/or enhanced retirement rather than hit the firm's earnings with a disability payment. Of course if there is a pettern with regard to employees in a protected class (such as those who are older) there is always the possibility of age discrimination, for example. Get a REAL GOOD lawyer now, who knows how corporations operate.

You really have a choice to make -- because you did not immediately go on STD on Monday

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