Monday, April 12, 2010

Philadelphia Employment Lawyer Explains Disability Claims


In Pennsylvania, we do not have a law that protects you from termination if you or a loved one becomes disabled. However, if you have worked full-time for an employer for more than a year, and the company has more than 50 employees, you may be eligible for Family and Medical Leave under Federal Law.

By the way, this federal law applies not just to Pennsylvanians, but to all employees working in America.  Thus, while this Blog is directed at Pennsylvanians, it in fact is applicable to persons employed in America, with one caveat:  Some states may have leave rights that are more generous than those provided under FMLA (PA does not).  However, a state is not permitted to offer less protection than is provided for under FMLA.

Feel Free to View John's Video on FMLA Here:


Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, you are entitled to 12 weeks of leave per year to care for yourself or a loved one who has a serious health condition. In general, a serious health condition is one that requires a visit to a doctor, or an absence from work of more than three days. In Pennsylvania, if you take FMLA Leave and return to work within 12 weeks, you are entitled to full reinstatement to your former job, or at least to a comparable position.


While FMLA protects your right to a job, it is unpaid leave. If you have a condition that requires you to be out of work for more than 1 week, you should apply for Short-Term Disability payments if the company has insurance for such. In Pennsylvania, you can get Short Term Disability payments while out on FMLA Leave.


Generally, Short Term Disability pays you for 6 weeks of lost wages. If you are still unable to work after a period of 6 weeks, you can file a Long Term Disability claim. In Pennsylvania, you can get Long Term Disability payments while out on FMLA Leave.


If your absence is the result of a Workers Compensation injury, the rules are a little different. In Pennsylvania, you are still entitled to FMLA Leave even if it results from an on the job injury, but you cannot get Short or Long Term Disability payments. Instead, your wage loss is covered by the Workers Compensation insurance policy your employer has.


Under the ADA, if you have a disability that precludes your ability to do your job, you should seek a reasonable accommodation. Remember, seeking Long Term Disability benefits in Pennsylvania may affect your ability to argue that you could complete your job if given a reasonable accommodation.


If you need to miss work due to a doctor's appointment for yourself or a loved one, or because you or they are ill for 3 or more days, you may be entitled to FMLA Leave. If you request or take such leave and you are thereafter disciplined, demoted, suspended, terminated, etc., than you would have an excellent claim for unlawful FMLA retaliation. Take the time you need to care for yourself or your loved ones. Keep the company closely apprised as to what is going on. If they retaliate against you, call our office, or that of another qualified employment lawyer.

Pennsylvania Family Leave and Disability Attorney

John A. Gallagher, Esquire
Helping Individuals Since 1991
John A. Gallagher is an employment lawyer who represents employees in Pennsylvania.

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of employment law, from wrongful termination, to wage and overtime claims, to discrimination and retaliation laws, to Family and Medical Leave…

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of Pennsylvania Unemployment Law, from willful misconduct, to voluntary quit, to Referee Hearings, to severance issues…

Click Here to e-mail John directly.

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