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short term disability.

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:30 AM

I am a resident of New York and I am on short term disability have already exhaused FMLA 12 weeks. I received a letter stating that short term disability ends on 6/26/2012, if I do not return to work I will be terminated. Also I am to apply for long term disability and will find out if qualified one week before this date. I am still disabled taking medication and in treatment. I had a microfracture surgery and a lateral menisectomy and lateral release on my right knee rehabilitation takes a long period of time aproximately 6 to 12 months it was performed on 1/27/2012 and I have been approved by my doctor to be out until 4/30/2012. On that date he will reevaluate me and see if i can return to work.  I received a call today stating that the ATT disability advisory group had a conference call with my doctor and AT&T doctor feels I can return to work next week with restrictions sitting only, I will be placed on sedatary duty. I have not confirmed this with my doctor and I am concerned because to date I do not have full range of motion in my knee, still in therapy and cannot go up or down a flight of stairs and still in lots of pain. I am a Assistant Manager for  AT&T my main function requires me to stand for long periods of time on the sales floor. My question I know I have exhausted my FMLA which means I can be fired and my job does not have to be held. If I do not return due to my disability can I be fired?   Do I have any recourse under the american disabilities act they are allowing me to return on sedatary duty but I am not ready to return I cannot sit  or stand for long periods of time. Please advise if there is anything I can do thank you for your help.

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 03:08 AM

FMLA is the only law that prevents the employer from letting you go for 12 weeks, as you know, so asking whether they can fire you doesn't make a lot of sense.  Even if you qualified under the ADA, that doesn't do anything for you because that involves accommodations to help get your job done ... not being absent from your job.

Ultimately, while a doctor may have "approved" you to be out until a given date, that doesn't mean employer has to worry about more than FMLA. 

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)

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