From a legal perspective, these “status” designations used by employers don’t really mean anything and are just labels they use. There is no standard set of these employee status so you can’t really compare situation to situation because some employers don’t even use these status designations to categorize employees.
Your legal rights exist regardless of the window dressing (or label) the employer puts on you. However, for an employee protect their legal rights, it is critical that the employer have up to date information that you continue to be disabled from performing the job. Employers are not legally allowed to make a decision on your disability / medical status based on decisions of an LTD insurance company. They have to make an independent assessment based on information given by your doctor and any doctor the employer may hire to examine you.
As long as a person provides ongoing certification of disability from employment, with the doctor confirming that the patient would not be able to work, even with accommodations, then the employer should not terminate your employment until you get to the 3-4 year mark of being off work or the disability litigation resolves. It is critical that you provide this medical evidence of disability directly to the employer – it cannot be given by way of the insurance company.
Employers have a duty of accommodation to employees with disabilities, and one such accommodation is to allow the person to remain employee on a leave of absence or sick leave or whatever they want to call it…until there is a final decision on the disability claim. This is important because many employers will extend employment benefits indefinitely, and allow ongoing pension plan participation, as long as a person is on an “approved” long-term disability claim
If you are represented by a lawyer this is a question he or she should be able to answer for you because the lawyer will be much more familiar with all the details of your situation.
Disability Lawyer with Resolute Legal
The response posted above is based on the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliabile manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with a lawyer, fully explain your situation, and allow the lawyer enough time to research the applicable law and facts required to give an adequate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full one-on-one discussion with a lawyer should be done before taking any any action. The information posted on this forum is available to the viewing public and is not intended to create a lawyer client relationship with any person. If you want one-on-one advice, please click here to request a free consultation or call toll free 1-877-282-5188 to speak with a member with our disability claim support team.