What recourse do I have with my employer who terminated my health insurance while on WC leave but who didn't provide any care?

Asked 9 months ago - Auburn, CA

I took a personal medical leave for a month. Near end of that month, employer filed a WC claim without telling me and I had to stop seeing my own doctor. I never saw a doctor through the WC leave and my one mo leave turned into a 4 mo leave while I fought to get treatment any way I could for health conditions I wasn't even sure were caused by work. One day I rec'd a letter terminating my ins due to a reduction in hours whereas, hello, I had no reduction, I was disabled and could not work. Later, (this is all while being employed) I was asked to get a drs note excusing me for the wc leave, but the day I got it I recd a fed ex terminating me for not having it. I need my insurance and job back and my wc atty is only interested in filing ppwk; not throwing the book, or all books, at employer.

Additional information

was never notified of wc claim denial; someone at work let it slip that it had been denied and within a week of the date I was to hear back from wc ins carrier regarding their decision, was fired for essentially, being on their forced wc leave without a drs note. The agency I once had over my own medical decisions was completely ripped out of my hands, my health conditions therefore exacerbated and instead of fulfilling the obligation to give me treatment through wc, I was ignored and then fired. Can I be fired for not having a note due to not having access to any doctor? Seems really suspect, no?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Neil Pedersen

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . An employer acts lawfully in terminating employee benefits if under the terms of the employee benefit plan the employee has remained off work for a define period of time. It is not unusual for companies to terminate benefits after several months of leave.

    You speak of your attorney. If you are displeased with your attorney find another. It may be that you are displeased because the attorney you are working with is a workers compensation attorney, who does not engage in disability discrimination litigation - very common occurrence. You need two attorneys to consult with. One a good workers compensation attorney, and the other a good employment law attorney who knows the laws of disability discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

    I would suggest you look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed... more
  2. John D Wu

    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Make sure that you receive legal advice, guidance, and representation from both a workers' compensation attorney and employment law attorney. Note that even if your claim is denied, you may still be entitled to relief, both within the WC arena and also the courts. Be aware that you may have statute of limitations issues if you wait for your WC claim to resolve before filing a claim in the courts. If it helps, there is a link below that briefly explains the difference between a workers' comp claim and a labor / employment claim in court.

    Any post of discussion above is general in nature and is not intended to and should not be construed as legal... more
  3. John Francis Mccarthy

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . California is an "at will employment" state. That means there is a presumption that your employer can fire you at any time for any reason. However, there are "exceptions" to at will employment. These "exceptions" make up our body of wrongful termination law. If you can prove your termination was motivated by disability discrimination or in retaliation for filing a workers' comp claim, then you have a wrongful termination. However, proving wrongful termination is very difficult and you will need an experienced employment lawyer to help you.

    The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages,... more

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