These situations occur all of the time and unfortunately, more than they should. An employee has been working for several years for a company and has an excellent reputation with her employer. She sees a physician due to a medical concern, but initial tests reveal that there is nothing wrong. A few weeks or months later, she returns to a second physician because the condition has worsened. It is then realized that she will need extensive medical procedures – which will impact her ability to work.
The employee takes all necessary steps to prepare for her work absence, including filling out her Family and Medical Leave Act paperwork (FMLA) and notifying her employer with as much time as possible. She is not worried about her position. But, after her 12 weeks of FMLA leave have been exhausted, the company lets the employee go.
The employee is upset because she now has no job, medical bills piling up and is left in a situation that she is unsure how to resolve.
An attorney can help when an employee faces such situations. First, the attorney will deal with the employer. While they did follow the 12 week allotment under FMLA, once that leave was exhausted, they violated the law by not using an interactive process to determine when the employee would be able to return. Employers that terminate employees on the exact day their FMLA leave has expired often do not realize there are other legal obligations that they must meet and they may also have discriminated against that employee’s disability.
For this employee example, the surgery and longer recovery were required because the employee’s first physician did not diagnose the issue. Therefore, the employee waited longer until the only reasonable way to correct the condition was with extensive surgery. This is an unreasonable delay in medical diagnosis.
With the advancements in medical imaging and diagnostic tests, there is no reason a patient’s diagnosis should be delayed extensively. But, some physicians are too busy to take the time to give each patient attention – which means they often miss the right diagnosis or dismiss symptoms.
This can also help the employee who lost their job. This employee may have legal action against that physician or medical facility for their delayed diagnosis. If the physician should have been able to catch that initial diagnosis with reasonable inspection, they have committed medical malpractice. At this point, the employee could sue that professional to ensure she and her family are provided for, but also to ensure that the physician does not do this to any patients in the future.
Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no obligation case evaluation. Call 866-479-7909 or contact us online to get started.