Q: Is being terminated under a doctor's care legal
My wife is a health care provider and was grocery shopping for her client at HEB and had a slip and fall accident. She contacted her employer and went to there workmans compt doctor . We also hired a law firm for the accident and they told her stop seeing the work man's comp doctor and have been seeing her lawyers doctor and has had to have back surgery and may have to have neck surgery . Her employer let her go due to her her back doctor and neck doctor could not give them a date she could go back to work and she did not continue to see the work mans comp doctor. her work man's comp doctor wanted her to go back to work in two weeks after the accident.
A: More information is needed to answer your question. An employer is not required to hold your wife's position open for her for an indefinite period of time if she is unable to return to work. Being under doctor's care does not provide blanket protection from termination. Whether your wife has a potential claim for unlawful termiantion at this stage would depend on several things - e.g., does your wife qualify for protection under the Family Medical Leave Act? How long has she been out of work? How much additional leave do her doctors anticipate that she will need? You should contact an employment attorney in your area to discuss.
Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer
A: Something does not sound right here. A claimant with an open workers' comp claim does not typically get to decide whether or not they want to see their workers' comp doctor. If your wife is seeing an independent doctor for her third-party injury claim, that's fine. But that does not take place at the exclusion of the workers' comp doctor - the WC doctor is the one who will perform IMEs, make determinations about percentage disability, make determinations about returning to work, etc.
Recommendation: You may want to consider consulting with an experienced California workers' comp attorney to review the file and take a close look at what has taken place so far. Good luck
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