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Manhattan Medical Separation Employment Lawyer

Westchester County Civil Service Medical Separation Lawyer

Attorney in New York City Helping Civil Service Employees Keep Their Jobs When Injured or Ill

Did you know that if you get injured or become ill, and you are unable to perform your civil service job, your employer could eventually try to terminate your employment? This type of termination is known as a medical separation, and it becomes an option for public sector employers when a tenured employee is unable to perform the full duties of his or her position for at least one year or more.

While a medical separation is preferable to a disciplinary termination because a medical separation allows for the possibility of coming back to work when the medical condition clears, losing your job is rarely in your best interests. At The Law Firm of Gregory J. Watford, Esq., PLLC, we understand that civil service employers must follow a strict set of rules when seeking a medical separation, and you have the right to challenge your employer's decision. With more than 25 years of legal experience working with unions, civil service employers, and workers, Mr. Watford and his team will work closely with you to analyze your situation and to mount the best possible case so that you can keep your job and move forward with your life.

The Differences Between Medical Separation and Disciplinary Termination

New York State maintains a series of laws that address civil service employment in the state, including the processes for disciplining or terminating an employee. If you, as a tenured civil service employee, are accused of incompetence or misconduct—possibly including off-the-clock criminal behavior—your employer must follow a list of due process rules before punishing you. If you are found guilty and terminated, you will not be eligible to work for that employer in the future.

The same series of laws also provides that if you become disabled and are unable to do your job, your employer can follow a similar set of due process guidelines and terminate your employment. A disciplinary action is generally based on evidence of wrongdoing and character, but a medical separation action must be based on the opinions of medical professionals and your ability to do your job. The other major difference is that if you do become medically separated from your job, New York Law gives you a recovery window during which you can reclaim your position if you recover.

Trusted Counsel for Medical Separation Proceedings in Brooklyn and The Bronx

In order for your employer to pursue a medical separation, you must be determined to have a "disability" or some type of physical or mental condition that prevents you from performing the duties of your civil service position. If you were injured or became ill on the job, your disability is considered an "occupational disability," and an injury or illness that is not work-related is known as an "ordinary disability" under the New York Civil Service Law.

Before you can be terminated through a medical separation, you must be examined by your employer's medical officer to determine the extent of your disability. If your disability is ordinary, you cannot be terminated until you have been absent and unable to work for at least 365 consecutive days. For an occupational disability, you cannot be terminated until you have been unable to perform your full duties for a total of 365 days, which do not need to be continuous and do include days spent on light or limited duty.

If you do not agree with your employer's decision to seek a medical separation or the medical officer's evaluation of your condition, you have the right to protest the separation. The grounds for your protest or appeal could include:

  • The civil service medical officer erred in establishing your disability.
  • Your employer did not calculate your missed time correctly.
  • You were denied due process as set forth by New York law.

At The Law Firm of Gregory J. Watford, Esq., PLLC, we will coordinate with you and your doctors to develop a strategy for countering the claims made by your employer. We will also represent your interests at any necessary hearings and do everything we can to ensure that you have the job security you worked so hard to obtain.

Call 646-580-6675 Today

For more information about how we can help protect your rights during a civil service medical separation proceeding in New York City, contact our office. Call 646-580-6675 for a confidential consultation at The Law Firm of Gregory J. Watford, Esq., PLLC today. We represent civil service employees in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, New City, Mineola, White Plains, Mt. Vernon, New York County, Kings County, Queens County, Bronx County, Rockland County, Nassau County, Westchester County, and the surrounding areas.

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