Employee terminated while on leave for an injury

Employee terminated while on leave for an injury

Employee terminated while on leave for an injury

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by Rozanne "Roze" Worrell

WVEC.com

Posted on August 31, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 31 at 3:12 PM

Dear Roze:

Back in March of this year I was terminated from an hourly job with the tourist industry in Hampton Roads. This was done while I was under a doctor’s orders not to work due to an on-the-job injury. The two reasons my employer gave were complete fallacies and I have the documentation to prove just that.The company said I didn’t notify them of my work status after the FMLA 12 weeks had run out, but they and their insurance company said my injury would be covered under workers’ comp, not FMLA. The second reason was that I had not provided them with my current address, but that’s false as I have a letter from the company human resources director that was mailed to that address a full five months before this. What recourse do I have in regards to what I call an illegal termination?

Wrongfully terminated
     
Dear Wrongfully terminated:

Given the legal nature of your issue, I contacted attorney Gregory A. Giordano who specializes in employment law with the Virginia Beach, VA law office of Troutman Sanders, LLP (www.troutmansanders.com). He provided the following response:

"The Virginia Worker's Compensation Act, Code Section 65.2-308, provides that no employer shall discharge an employee "solely" because the employee has filed a claim under the Act. An employee may bring an action in the Circuit Court in violation of the Code Section. A successful employee may obtain injunctive relief, actual damages, attorney's fees, and reinstatement with back pay and interest. This employee has a case against his employer if he can prove that everything was pretext and if he proves that firing him for filing a comp claim is the "sole" reason he was fired."

Dear Roze:

I work part-time as a mammographer. A full-time tech position has come up. I think I would get the job if there were only outside candidates, but our center’s coordinator wants to step down for this position. She’s already full-time and has much more mammography experience than me, and she also has management experience I don’t have. I’m pretty sure she will get the job over me but I do have perfect attendance and she doesn’t; I’m calm in every situation and she’s not; and I’m well respected by my peers and she isn’t as much. The other techs don't want to work side by side with her. Should I ask my boss if it’s a waste of my time to apply? I would want to be well prepared for this interview. I think the coordinator has done similar interviews, so she may know the kinds of questions to expect. I’d like the boss to tell me the kinds of questions that could be asked or tell us both what the questions will be so the coordinator won't have an advantage.

What should I do?

Dear What should I do?

What do you have to lose if you apply, except for the time it will take to prepare for and to go through the application process? If it will not be considered inappropriate or out of bounds within your organization, have a discussion with your boss concerning your strong interest in the position and his/her expectations of the person who is selected for the job. I am, however, disinclined to support you asking the boss about the interview questions. Just prepare, prepare, prepare!  Best of luck!

© 2010 Rozanne R. Worrell

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