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My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Unfair

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My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Unfair

Old 08-06-15, 09:13 PM
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My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Unfair

Ok so my wife has worked at her job in the school district here for about 12 years now. She's pretty high up on the food chain, and she works with the special ed kids as a para-educator, which means nobody really wants to do her job or has the skills to do it. She's also vastly underpaid, but that's another nickdawgy thread.

She hurt her shoulder about a week ago. Well, that's when the pain started. She woke up, and had severe pain in the left shoulder, and thought it was nothing, maybe she slept on it wrong. Two days later, the pain intensified, and she went to the doctor. They took an x-ray and it showed a small piece of bone chipped off. They said it was calcification of some sort, and she needed to see a specialist. Unfortunately the next available appointment is on the 11th.

So she has her left arm in a sling, and got a doctors note for work. Basically it says she is limited for a month. I'm not sure if that will change if she has surgery or the pain goes away. But the school district called her and said to stay home for a month and they're forcing her to use all of her sick time and vacation days while she is at home.

Keep in mind that she works on a ten month schedule, and then five weeks or so for summer school. She was off work at the time she started to feel pain, but it could have happened at work before. I mention this because some friends are saying she should file workers comp, but she is reluctant to because she fears the repercussions and backlash she may endure.

I told her she should call her union rep, but she heard from a friend that it won't do her any good. Still, she emailed the union president (she apparently doesn't know who her union rep is) and asked what she can do.

Is this legal? It doesn't seem right for them to not be able to accommodate her in some way so she can continue working.

I'd appreciate any advice you guys could give on the subject.

Oh and no, she didn't hurt her shoulder from bar hopping or the threesome.
Old 08-06-15, 09:18 PM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

Worker's comp?
Old 08-06-15, 09:45 PM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

Yeah. Workers compensation. You've heard of it, yeah? Basically they would investigate and see if it was sustained at work. She thinks it wasn't but her job involves repeated use of that shoulder so you never know.
Old 08-06-15, 09:49 PM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

It is a liability. If she hurts it more then they are on the hook. That is why they don't want her there.
Old 08-06-15, 09:49 PM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

Yeah. Workers compensation. You've heard of it, yeah? Basically they would investigate and see if it was sustained at work. She thinks it wasn't but her job involves repeated use of that shoulder so you never know.
I wasn't sure if he didn't know what it was, or missed the part that your wife was reluctant to file for it and was giving a recommendation.

And yeah, I agree with Deftones' assessment.
Old 08-06-15, 10:17 PM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

what is the interest rate this time?
Old 08-06-15, 11:18 PM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

If she didn't hurt it on the job but then aggravates it on the job, it becomes the employer's problem. I'm not sure about requiring her to use her sick time and vacation when the employer is prohibiting her from working though ... I would suspect she could file for unemployment benefits, but then they may make her use up any comp (sick, vacation, etc.) time before they pay out.

That must have been one hell of a handjob.
Old 08-06-15, 11:32 PM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

Originally Posted by Deftones View Post
It is a liability. If she hurts it more then they are on the hook. That is why they don't want her there.
That's what one of her friends said. They kept her friend away and she had a sprained ankle.

Originally Posted by Deadman31 View Post
what is the interest rate this time?
0%. Not interested in their BS at all. But there may be a late fee. Must investigate.

Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
If she didn't hurt it on the job but then aggravates it on the job, it becomes the employer's problem. I'm not sure about requiring her to use her sick time and vacation when the employer is prohibiting her from working though ... I would suspect she could file for unemployment benefits, but then they may make her use up any comp (sick, vacation, etc.) time before they pay out.

That must have been one hell of a handjob.
Well she would want to be paid. It just sucks. She never misses time. She hates it.

And she uses her other hand for that. I asked around the bars.
Old 08-06-15, 11:33 PM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

If her doctor says she can't work for a month, that's it. What does the doctor's note say? Does her job involve using her arm, such as in restraining special Ed kids?

If she wants an accommodation, the doctor has to list specific restrictions so the school can analyze whether it can provide something which will allow her to do her job.
Old 08-06-15, 11:37 PM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

Originally Posted by nickdawgy View Post
Yeah. Workers compensation. You've heard of it, yeah? Basically they would investigate and see if it was sustained at work. She thinks it wasn't but her job involves repeated use of that shoulder so you never know.

Yeah, but I thought the school district still paid up. I guess not, which is why they're making her use up her sick time and vacation.
Old 08-06-15, 11:41 PM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

I just noticed you said her job requires her to repeatedly use that shoulder. If she can't use her shoulder, what do you expect the school to do?
Old 08-07-15, 12:01 AM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

Well, since she's "vastly underpaid", she should use this time to look for another job that will pay her what she deserves. One stone, two birds.
Old 08-07-15, 01:36 AM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

Originally Posted by sherm42 View Post
If her doctor says she can't work for a month, that's it. What does the doctor's note say? Does her job involve using her arm, such as in restraining special Ed kids?

If she wants an accommodation, the doctor has to list specific restrictions so the school can analyze whether it can provide something which will allow her to do her job.
No, the note said limited mobility or whatever for a month. We thought the school would accommodate her.

But her job used to be restraining the kids and helping with meds and other special needs like diaper changing, feeding, or trach tubes and such. Some of the stuff she does require skills and you can't just have a random aide do them. She's also trained in CPR and such.

Last year she had a one on one which means she worked with one student all the time. Sadly, he passed away right before the end of the year, so they had her filing papers and working in the health office for the rest of the semester and summer school. We figured that's what she would be doing when school starts officially on Monday.

Originally Posted by sherm42 View Post
I just noticed you said her job requires her to repeatedly use that shoulder. If she can't use her shoulder, what do you expect the school to do?
See above. Filing work, health office work, etc.

Originally Posted by Shoveler View Post
Well, since she's "vastly underpaid", she should use this time to look for another job that will pay her what she deserves. One stone, two birds.
Way ahead of you. She's about three classes away from her bachelors and is going to become a math teacher. She's been going to school the past year and a half. Then again, teachers are underpaid, too, but at least she would get paid during the summer.
Old 08-07-15, 01:59 AM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

I had a pretty bad leg injury, and even though my job mostly requires me to sit in a chair at a computer, they told me to stay home as well.

I could have done most of the work from home, but they told me no on that as well. Just paid time off is what I got.
Old 08-07-15, 01:59 AM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

Move to Alberta, teachers are paid very well here.
Old 08-07-15, 07:14 AM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

Can she get short term disability instead of using up her whole year's vacation in the first weeks of school?
Old 08-07-15, 07:27 AM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

Possibly but I hate to fall back on something like that. It's looking like she's at the mercy of the doctor now.
Old 08-07-15, 08:21 AM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

Originally Posted by nickdawgy View Post
No, the note said limited mobility or whatever for a month. We thought the school would accommodate her.

.
IMO this is it in a nut shell. If she cannot do her current job, is there another one she can do AND the school/business has the need for her to do.

If there is another role she could fill, even if normally a less paying job, while she heals, I would think her company would allow that. Why? They are paying her full wage on sick leave while doing nothing. So if they have a need for even s simple job that she could do you would think they would want that.

Having said that, you wouldn't expect the school/job to make something up or create busy work for her. There may also be union rules involved.

How is her sick leave renewed? I mean if she does use it all for the year, does she get it all back at the beginning of the next year? What is the down side to using all the sick leave?

BTW you need to see if she qualifies for the medical leave act. It is non-paid, but it prevents from losing your job due to a sickness/illness even after you run out of sick pay.
Old 08-07-15, 08:25 AM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
Can she get short term disability instead of using up her whole year's vacation in the first weeks of school?
IIRC, short term disability only kicks in AFTER vacation time has been consumed, at least with my benefit plan.
Old 08-07-15, 08:50 AM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

Originally Posted by nickdawgy View Post

Last year she had a one on one which means she worked with one student all the time. Sadly, he passed away right before the end of the year, so they had her filing papers and working in the health office for the rest of the semester and summer school. We figured that's what she would be doing when school starts officially on Monday.
Think of it this way, when her student died, she became a person on the regular payroll with nothing to do, so they found something for her to do to justify paying her for the rest of the year.

Now if there is regular work to do, and she is unable to do it, they probably have to bring in a substitute to do her work until she is able to return, right? So to give her busy work while a substitute is doing her job would be adding to the payroll, so it doesn't make sense.
Old 08-07-15, 09:20 AM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

Originally Posted by Shoveler View Post
IIRC, short term disability only kicks in AFTER vacation time has been consumed, at least with my benefit plan.
Same here.

And to the OP, it seems unfair, because LIFE is unfair.
Old 08-07-15, 09:51 AM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

My advice: when para-educating, you need to assume a knees-bent semi-crouch position. Upon hitting the ground, try to absorb the shock with your legs and roll with your entire body. If it's a windy day, act quickly to gain control of the canopy and suspension lines to reduce the risk of being dragged along the ground. Once you've secured the chute, disconnect the suspension lines. These simple steps will hopefully prevent future shoulder injuries.
Old 08-07-15, 10:29 AM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

Just make sure she wears a disguise when she's out late at the bars, otherwise her employer may fire her for using that bum shoulder to throw back shots.
Old 08-07-15, 10:36 AM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
Can she get short term disability instead of using up her whole year's vacation in the first weeks of school?
This one. I was on it for 3 weeks a couple of months ago because I had surgery done for sleep apnea. I was also on it for 2 months 15 years ago when I broke my arm while not at work. Both times I did not have to use any sick or vacation time. Based on some other answers it probably depends on the employer and the state you work in.

Last edited by inri222; 08-07-15 at 10:42 AM.
Old 08-07-15, 04:45 PM
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Re: My Wife's Employer Says "Stay Home, You Can't Work While You're Hurt"....Seems Un

Originally Posted by nickdawgy View Post
No, the note said limited mobility or whatever for a month. We thought the school would accommodate her.
What, exactly, did the note say? Those notes are very specific as to what one can and cannot do, how long they can do it for, how long they can work in a day, any special accomadations that the patient needs. On top of that, whether one can actually do their work, or are limited to "light duty". It's very possible that the school doesn't have anything for her that fits the requirements in the note, or doesn't want to take on the liability of having her working with a known injury.

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