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NY - Fired after returning to work from WC - Printable Version

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NY - Fired after returning to work from WC - otmne - 03-28-2017

Hello from New York!
I am feeling completely helpless at the moment and still dealing with the shock of being fired..I'm looking for some advice.

In January of 2016 I got injured while at work - I started receiving WC immediately. I was visiting the WC doctor at least once a month. At first the estimation of when I'd be able to go back to work was 16 weeks, but as time went, the doctor noticed the bone in my foot was not healed 100%. So I continued with the doctor appointments, physical therapy, and whatever else was recommended.  

It was recommended to me from friends/family/etc that I should reach out to a WC attorney to assist and advise through the process. So I did so!

Long story short - 9 months later I was finally 100% cleared from the WC doctor to return back to work. If it was up to me I would have liked to return much sooner because my foot felt fine but apparently something about the bone not being completely mended. Either way, I was thrilled to go back to work finally - for my livelihood and for financial purposes. I'm 63 by the way and only a few years away from retirement.

So after returning to work for a few months, I was let go/fired yesterday. I was told by my superiors that there was footage of me in July doing some yard work. 
In all honesty, there were never any restrictions set by the doctor. As I mentioned, by that point my foot felt fine and given the opportunity I would have returned to work as soon as possible but the doctor would not clear me. I was never given a cast for my foot - all I had was a removable boot for the first month or so. 

I'm in shock and perhaps I was bit naive. I wasn't aware that I had to lock myself indoors for 9 months and/or pretend to have a handicap. 

Anyhow, I'm at a loss of what do now. My boss said I have an amazing track record - no complaints ever, and that'd he would be happy to vouch for me if needed. He did recommend that I go to the Union immediately (union job) - I'm on my way now - currently on the train.

Any advice? Am I screwed? The lawyer I was working with hasn't returned any of my calls or e-mails in the past week and I'm suspicious of him at this point - not sure what to think. Not even sure why after so many months is this footage being revealed. Any thoughts?

Thank you,
OT


RE: NY - Fired after returning to work from WC - 1171 - 03-28-2017

Have your doctor report that the yard work was permitted under your work restrictions. You can file a wrongful termination claim thru a labor law atty. Did The employer have a medical basis that the yard work was prohibited? They had an opportunity to challenge your work comp doctor's disability status with the comp court and didn't. Sounds like a weak basis for termination.
You can also contact your local labor commissioner directly for help:
https://www.labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/workprot/viollblw.shtm


RE: NY - Fired after returning to work from WC - 1171 - 03-31-2017

Glad that was helpful; you're welcome.