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Can I collect unemployment if I have been fired after requesting personal leave for a medical problem - Pennsylvania

by Dan
(Pottstown, PA)

I had rotator cuff surgery in February 2009 , and then returned to work on May 11,2009. Upon return to work my company laid off one of the 5 people in the department, and gave all of his duties to me.

Before my surgery on my shoulder I was performing data entry on the computer about 2 hours in my 8 hour shift, and I thought my surgically repaired shoulder could hold up to this demand.

Since my company laid off on of my coworkers (it was a combination layoff/ retirement and this person stayed on for 3 weeks. On the fourth week of my return to work my data entry requirements were increased to 6+ hours in my 8 hour shift, and my surgically repaired shoulder could not hold up to the strain.

Upon my Doctor's advice I asked for an additional 4 weeks of Leave of Absence to see if my shoulder could heal, and take on the added stress of my increased data entry requirements.

When I informed my Personnel Manager of this request he told me that he would have to discuss with the "leaders of the company", and that I may be FIRED. He was aware that I was going to see my Doctor, and that there was a possibility that I may have to "go out" again, but he never told me that I has used up all of my Family and Medical Leave Act time right after my surgery in February. I did not know, and was never told that 12 weeks was the most Leave I was entitled to. Only after I told him what my Doctor wanted me to do did he give me this information.

If the Company does decide to Fire me... would I be able to collect unemployment in Pennsylvania?

Hi Dan,

I keep telling everyone .. an employer only tells you what they have to tell you and with our rights, comes responsibility, namely knowing what our rights are.

Yes, you would probably be eligible for PA unemployment compensation. If your doctor wants you to take another four weeks off to help your shoulder AND you have requested the personal leave of absence for this since your 12 weeks of FML is gone AND they fire you in spite of your medical documentation saying you need to be off work .. it will be found as a discharge without good cause.

Present your documentation to the employer and make your request for leave a written request.

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