Can I be laid off because I was out on short-term disability?

Asked 10 months ago - Scottsdale, AZ

I was out on short-term disability and on my first day back I was escorted directly to HR to be laid off. I was told it was because I was out on leave. They gave me a minimal severance package (two weeks pay) and approved my unemployment, but is this legal? It seems like discrimination based on my disability to me.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You can have a local employment lawyer investigate if there were specific instances of discrimination. Avvo has a terrific "find a lawyer" tool to locate a top-rated Avvo attorney with a low contingency fee. Good luck.

  2. Mishka L Marshall

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . If you were given a severance package, you may have signed a release of claims agreeing to waive any and all claims related to your termination. Even if the company's actions violated the laws against discrimination and retaliation, a release of claims will prevent you from collecting any damages from your former employer. Check the language of any documents you signed when you received your severance.

    You can always consult with a local employment attorney. Good luck.

  3. C. Andrew Campbell

    Contributor Level 15

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . It is probably worth your time to contact a local employment attorney and get all of your documents together and bring them with you to your consultation. You may have a claim for wrongful termination and there may be issues if you signed a severance agreement; however, there is no way to tell from the limited information available on this forum. Good luck.

    This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not intended as legal advice. An attorney... more
  4. Qusair Mohamedbhai

    Pro

    Contributor Level 4

    Answered . I agree with the other attorneys - you need to contact a local attorney. You may have claims under FMLA, the ADA and other state and federal statutes. However, only a local attorney experienced in employment law can tell you for sure. Make sure you bring all of your paperwork to the attorney (e.g. Short term disability request and authorization, employee handbook, relevant correspondence with company, severance agreement, etc.). I have also attached a two links to more information about the ADA and FMLA (note we are based in Colorado but these are federal statutes so it will give you a starting point for your research).

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