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If my Short Term Disability was approved by Unum can my company block payments as they fired me 4 days laters?

Schenectady, NY |

On Monday, I was pulled into the managers office and was threatened that due to some errors I may be terminated or best case scenario on a final written warning but would be informed within 24 hours or so then sent back to work for the remainder of my shift. I did my job for the remainder of my shift but was crying and shaking the entire time. I suffered from an anxiety attack and went to the ER that night, my dr pulled me out of work the next day. I emailed work to inform them that I had applied for my FMLA and STD but got no response. Unum called me to inform me that my STD claim was approved and that my job lied and said that I had only worked for the company for 10 months which in fact was over 5 years but there was a break due to a prior disability. Hr called and fired me yesterday.

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Best answer

    Based on the information you have provided, you MAY have a claim for violation of the Americans with Disability Act and/or the Family Medical Leave Act. You should consult with an attorney experienced with these laws.

    Many firms, including mine, offer a free initial consultation so you have nothing to lose by consulting an attorney.

  2. You may also benefit from a consultation with an ERISA (employee benefits) attorney to deal with the disability carrier. Those consultations are sometimes without charge.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

  3. You need to sit down with both an ERISA attorney and an experienced employment attorney. Be sure to check the credentials of any attorney claiming to be experienced in both fields. It's not unheard of, it's simply very difficult to be properly versed in both areas of law and that claim should be scrutinized.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice and you should contact an attorney to confirm or research further any statements made in this answer. Any statements of fact or law I have made in this answer pertain solely to New York State and should not be relied upon in any way in any other jurisdiction. Additionally, we also encourage you to reach out to us via Twitter (!/WhiteRoseMarks) or Facebook ( if you have follow up questions as we do not monitor questions after providing an initial answer.

  4. It sounds like you would have a workers' compensation claim if you were in California. Check with a local lawyer on that. Under workers' compensation laws, it is possible the firing could be retaliatory although if you cannot do the job anymore it won't get get you much traction. Disability benefits are pursuant to an insurance contract or a benefit plan and you need to look at that to see what your rights are and how long STD can continue, if at all, after employment ends. It sounds to me like you really need to talk to a lawyer and the sooner the better. The issue with the employment being reported wrong needs to be corrected, and it sounds like your employer is not friendly to you, so you really do need representation. You may need three different lawyers on this. Many of my clients have three of four different cases at a time to secure different rights and benefits (which offset each other to some extent but you are required to seek all benefits for which you are eligible.)

  5. Sounds like it could be a violation of section 510 of ERISA, which prohibits discrimination for exercising your rights to benefits. I can't tell if you were disabled prior to this incident or because of it. If they fired you because you started receiving STD, that's a violation of ERISA.

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