Resignation Means “I Quit!”
Last week DCS, Inc. received no less than 25 questions regarding employment resignations in connection with disability claims. I’ve written several good articles about this topic if you search for them from the Home Page.
However, in order to help those who are still asking questions about rendering “resignations”, I’ll address it again below.
Employees who need to leave work because of a medical disability do just that –leave work for a medical disability. This is very different from “I quit!” In fact, one of my clients is currently wrestling with DMS because his employer reported to his insurer in error that he resigned when he did not.
Giving a letter of resignation has serious consequences. You may not be eligible for unemployment and other assistance, and clearly, nearly all disability insurers will allege that you voluntary quit, not because of an inability to work for medical reasons, but because you “just quit.” No one should be giving letters of resignation when leaving work for a medical disability.
Employers often insist on written letters of resignation, or at least that’s the term used. However, great care must be given to NOT use the word “resignation” in the letter. For example, you might say, “Please be advised that my physicians have recommended that I apply for a period of disability with restrictions and limitations that preclude working until further notice.”
This terminology is NOT a resignation but a notification that you have a medical disability. By the way, you are entitled to 12 weeks of FMLA, a period of unpaid leave requiring your employer to keep your job open and continue to pay health and other benefits. If you are unable to go back to work at the end of the 12 weeks, employers can terminate employment with the blessing of the federal government.
The point I am trying to make is that having to leave work for medical disability is NOT an “I quit” situation and a “resignation” should never be given. It should be documented with the employer that you “have been recommended to leave work due to a medical disability.”
Think. Employers who ask employees to resign are in fact asking them to “quit.” It removes the company from responsibility of paying unemployment and increasing its experience rating.
Those leaving work for disability purposes are NOT QUITTING, but are not working due to medical restrictions and limitations provided by a doctor. No one should “resign” when leaving work for medical disability; a notification of medical leave is not the same thing as “resigning”.
No resignation should ever be given when leaving work for a medical disability. You may give a medical notice of leave due to recommended disability by a physician, but never an official “resignation.”