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Terminating Employee after Short Term Disability Leave

Is it correct that if an employee returns from short term disability that the employer can not terminate her for 2-3 years?

Whether an employee can be terminated after returning from short term disability (STD) leave depends on the STD policy terms, employer’s policy and the applicability of federal and state discrimination policies.

STD insurance provides wage replacement benefits for employees who are unable to work due to an injury or illness. Most STD policies don’t guarantee an employee job reinstatement rights.

Employer provided plans come with an implied promise that the employee will not be terminated until STD and LTD, if applicable, benefits have been exhausted and the employee is still unable to return to work. However, an employer may adopt its own leave policy only allowing a specified amount of leave time before an employee will be terminated. Keep in mind, an employee’s eligibility for leave under the federal Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or coverage under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) must be considered prior to termination.

There is no federal law that requires an employer to retain an employee for any specified amount of time following the employee’s return from STD leave.

Employers are obligated to adhere to their established practices and policies regarding returning employees from leave. Further, federal and often state discrimination laws prohibit employers from taking any negative employment actions including termination against an employee due to protected characteristics including a disability.

This entry was posted on Monday, November 9th, 2015 at 2:08 pm and is filed under
Benefits, Labor Laws, Termination.
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