CA Disability - Wrongful termination?

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CA Disability - Wrongful termination?

Post  ak2009 on Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:43 am

My wife is on short-term disability as we are fighting breast cancer. In the past 4 months she's been through a mastectomy, and has started her chemo.

Two weeks ago her doctor signed approved her moving to long-term disability. My wife let her boss at work know about this and the response from her boss was that she would look out for the new paperwork.

We received the LT-disability forms yesterday and today being a treatment day at the hospital (the day her chemo is administered) we took the forms to the hospital filled them out and got them signed.

Today, while we were in hospital, we received a call from her employer (her boss' boss) saying her position was eliminated. Notwithstanding that this is supposed to be a large Fortune 500 employee friendly company and is among the top companies to work for in SF and notwithstanding that my wife - a top employee of 10 years is going through one of the toughest times in her life - can the company do this? What are my rights? We speak to HR tomorrow. Here are my questions

I would like to know - is this move legal?

What happens to the LTD process (all the paperwork is already signed and being faxed over today)? Does it continue? Who pays the premiums?

What happenes to the health insurance?

Doesn't there seem to be a connection between the time we let the employer know of the move to LTD and being laid off less than 2 weeks later?

Is she eligible for LTD and severance together?

Your responses and pointers are very much appreciated


Last edited by ak2009 on Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:44 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : notification)

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Re: CA Disability - Wrongful termination?

Post  JoeC (McGruff) on Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:54 am

Thats is quit a few questions you are in San Fransisco? Employers can lay off for legitimate business reasons. That said this stinks like a whore house at low tide. There are laws unique to Ca on F.M.L I don't know all the In's and outs on those laws. I do know Ca equivalent to the A.D.A (Americans with Disability Act) is considerably broader under "qualified as disabled" cancer would be disabling in Ca. under the A.D.A its up in the air. I would contact an employment attorney immediately. As far as benefits they can not take away an earned benefit.

We have posters that are considerably more versed in Ca State law than myself, hang tough I will hail them.
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Last edited by JoeC (McGruff) on Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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Disability and termination

Post  Admin on Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:03 am

Assuming that your wife was otherwise protected under FEHA (Fair Employment and Housing Act), whether she was wrongfully terminated depends on whether her job cut was part of the legitimate work force reduction (which is always legal) or an employer's attempt to disguise disability discrimination by making this specific termination look like a layoff.

To determine whether the termination was pretextual and discriminatory, it would be useful to find out how many people were laid off and whether your wife was replaced with another employee, among other factors.

Thanks, and feel free to follow up.

Arkady Itkin
Employment Attorney
San Francisco / Sacramento/ San Jose
http://www.sanfranciscoemploymentlawfirm.com

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Re: CA Disability - Wrongful termination?

Post  JoeC (McGruff) on Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:06 am

Thanks Arkady you hit the new topic button again by accident I merged them.
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Re: CA Disability - Wrongful termination?

Post  Admin on Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:11 am

Thanks, sorry.

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Re: CA Disability - Wrongful termination?

Post  JoeC (McGruff) on Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:17 am

No problem I could not figure out how to use the Moderating features if people did not make mistakes. That was good link by the way. I always get confused with California's CFRA, FEHA, and the one that is unique to pregnancy. Fast moving world down there.
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Re: CA Disability - Wrongful termination?

Post  Admin on Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:34 am

Indeed, the employment law is dynamic. I like being a member of Cal employment section of the bar as i get case alerts from the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, but this only applies to California employment law of course.

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Re: CA Disability - Wrongful termination?

Post  JoeC (McGruff) on Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:37 am

Another thing good in California is their civil procedure rules mirror the Federal rules (liberal discovery).
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Re: CA Disability - Wrongful termination?

Post  ak2009 on Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:47 am

Thanks guys. We speak with their HR tomorrow after which I will likely call Arkady (sorry I'm writing this blind from memory and I don't see your name in front of me so I have probably messed it up)

What are the questions I should be asking them?

Here are some I have

1. How many people were layed off from the specific San Francisco location?
2. How many in my wife's group?
3. Given she was about to go on LTD - what savings is the co. going to have from such a termination?
4. How does this impact the LTD process? Is she eligible for LTD? Who pays the premiums?
5. What severance is being offered for 10 years of service?

Any other questions I should be asking (or any I should not be asking?)

Thanks very much in advance

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Re: CA Disability - Wrongful termination?

Post  JoeC (McGruff) on Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:03 am

You might want to contact him directly nothing on the Internet is privileged. Dont forget his questions as well:
To determine whether the termination was pretextual and discriminatory, it would be useful to find out how many people were laid off and whether your wife was replaced with another employee, among other factors.
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Last edited by JoeC (McGruff) on Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: CA Disability - Wrongful termination?

Post  ak2009 on Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:38 am

Have left a message for Arkady. Thanks for the input

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Re: CA Disability - Wrongful termination?

Post  JoeC (McGruff) on Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:49 am

Good now kick back and enjoy the site especially the current affairs section a lot of information there on current trends.
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Re: CA Disability - Wrongful termination?

Post  ak2009 on Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:56 am

Ok seems like there's a few people on disability who got hit. 2 out of 3 in my wife's group. Smells suspicious?

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Re: CA Disability - Wrongful termination?

Post  bears00 on Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:37 am

ak2009 wrote:Ok seems like there's a few people on disability who got hit. 2 out of 3 in my wife's group. Smells suspicious?

Smells VERY suspicious. Seek legal counsel.

I can't answer all of your questions. I am not familiar enough with CA employment law. I can, however, answer whether or not it was legal. If they eliminated her position, and it would have happened regardless of her disability, then yes, it is perfectly legal.

I wonder how many other "disableds" got the axe....
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