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Rethink ResignationThe most popular posts on Lindanee’s Blog are the articles I wrote dealing with “Resignations”. I know I must have published at least 5 articles about the subject and yet people seem to continue to ask questions about “resigning to go out on disability.”

I apologize to other readers in advance for repeating the same subjects over and over again, but I presume new visitors continue to ask the same questions. If you search from the Home Page I’m sure that you will find the other articles about “resignations.”

Basically, to “resign” from a job means, “I quit” and that is not what happens when employees are recommended by their physicians to cease work. There is a big difference between having to leave work for a medical disability and simply handing over an “I Quit” resignation letter.

I realize that most employers may ask for a resignation letter at some point, but what the letter says should be carefully phrased and managed by you. Your letter should say something like, “As of 12/2/2019 my physician recommends a period of total disability due to a medical impairment, and I will be applying for STD/LTD benefits and FMLA beginning on that date.” 

Notice the word “resignation” doesn’t appear anywhere. You are NOT obligated to share the reason for your disability, only that your physician is taking you out of work for a medical disability. Your leaving work should always be “positioned” as a cessation of work at the recommendation of a treating physician.

Again, I understand employers will use the word, resign, resign, resign, but now that you know better, you can prepare a letter reporting medical disability and not “position” your situation as a resignation.  Leaving work because of medical disability is a medical urgency of type and doesn’t at all mean, “I quit!”

Resignations can cause future work history problems including applications for unemployment in the future. Therefore, leaving work because of a medical disability is not a resignation particularly since FMLA will continue to pay life and health benefits and safeguard jobs for a period of 12 weeks.

All employees facing medical disability should understand very clearly that there is a big difference between a resignation, or “I quit”, and having to leave work upon the recommendation of a treating physician. “Resignation” should never enter into any letter or correspondence with employers, since the letter is more of a notification of cessation of work for medical reasons than an “I quit letter.”

Please don’t fall into the “I resign” trap when leaving work for medical reasons.