Of all the complicated issues facing those who seek counsel for a civil service job defense case, medical separation is particularly challenging due to many of the emotions involved, among other things. But overall, all sorts of issues could come your way if you are hoping to win a medical separation case and somehow get back to work. From your employers and their lawyer not trusting your doctor’s judgment to forgetting to file the proper paperwork, you need to be sure yourself and know that you can return to work. In addition, your doctors and lawyers must convince the administrative judge or hearing judge, the employers, and the employers’ lawyers that you are still able-bodied and of sound mind enough to work in the same or a similar, acceptable capacity at your workplace or, in other words, not “unfit to perform the full duties of that position at work.”
What Is a Medical Separation?
Plainly, medical separation occurs when an employer decides you are greatly impaired from fulfilling your duties in your role as a civil servant. Usually, this coincides with you going an entire year without working a typical and consistent schedule and without fulfilling any of your usual obligations, and all of this occurs without the approval of your employer. Keep in mind this will only happen if you are:
- A tenured public servant (usually having served 10 years or more in a role with your employer)
- Unable to perform the full duties of your job for at least one year
- Given due process in responding to the request for medical separation
Consequences of medical separation include:
- Losing your job
- Losing the pension and other benefits
The 3 Most Important Things to Do if Given Notice of Medical Separation
If your employer notifies you of a medical separation, you should attempt to do all or some of the following to help you win back reinstatement in your civil service position:
- You will be given, in most cases, up to 60 days (usually at least 30 days) to respond to the formal notice regarding the medical separation. Decide wisely, but before you do, be sure to consult with:
- Your union
- An attorney, if you choose to protest the medical separation
- Your personal doctor or another medical professional if they can provide substantial evidence of your capability to return to work
- Your employer can then object to your protest to the medical separation, but if they refuse to stop the process, this will trigger a hearing with an administrative judge, which is treated similarly to civil service disciplinary hearings. Do not let this fact deter or discourage you, though: medical separation is not nearly as negative for you as a disciplinary termination.
- Particularly during the first onset of your disability at or outside of work in your civil service position, you need to keep track of how long you were working that job while being adversely affected by medical problems (or not). Your employer might not add things up properly, which could be key in winning your case.
Contact a Brooklyn Medical Separation Attorney
If you have been issued a notice of medical separation from your employer and you believe you have a strong case to contest it and get reinstated at your position, reach out to an experienced Bronx civil service lawyer job defense lawyer. Call Joey Jackson Law, PLLC, at 833-563-9522 to get your job situation evaluated in such a way as to decide on the best strategies to help you win your case.