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Disabled firefighter sued for employment law violation

| Oct 25, 2018 | Employment Law for Employers |

When workers are injured on the job and declared disabled in New York, they certainly have the right to collect compensation while they are unable to work. However, it is important for employers in both the public and private sector to understand that they have the right to question whether a worker is injured to the degree that they are unable to do any kind of work at all. This is especially poignant when a worker is caught working when they are simultaneously collecting disability payments – something that is all-too common. Although workers are well within their rights to seek benefits when they are injured, employers can sue workers who are improperly taking disability payments.

A firefighter who received disability payments of at least $43,000 is facing a lawsuit after working for a New York company while he was supposed to be disabled. The city is requesting that the man repay what he received in disability. He had been a site safety manager for a construction firm and got around $53,000 for slightly more than a month’s work. The man had set up an LLC to receive the payments. He is still employed by the city and had gone back to work with modified duties in the spring.

When a worker gets disability, the rules say that the worker is not even allowed to venture out of the home without approval on what would otherwise be workdays. Since this man worked while receiving disability, the city wants the money back. The man states that he will return the money, but is waiting for arbitration so the total he must pay back is known. He says he is being harassed by the city as he suffers from depression and PTSD. He admitted to receiving pay from the private company while getting disability from the city.

Employers might be viewed as the villain in any case in which employment law is up for debate. When an employee commits a violation, employers have rights, particularly when an employee is found to have flouted the rules, collected disability and worked a side job knowing they were not supposed to be doing it. Having legal assistance experienced in employment law for employers in these or any other matters related to employment law is vital to dealing with these employees.