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.
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.
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.
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 licensed in your jurisdiction can answer questions specific to your specific fact situation and provide you appropriate advice as necessary based on the specific facts of your matter and the jurisdiction in which you reside. If you are in Arizona and interested in discussing your matter further I can be reached at: (480) 838-9000 Campbell Law PC 1839 S. Alma School Road, Suite 275 Mesa, Arizona 85210
Employment / Labor Attorney
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).