Just as our seasonal winter layoffs started, my doctor placed me on light-duty, due to a work related accident, on 12/15/2010. That same day, the company HR person caceled my health insurance, which I didn't find out about until 3/1/2011. Our contract clearly states, as long as you had the averge hours, that the employer carries our health insurance for 6 months during a layoff.
I was already fighting the employer over unemployment before finding out about the canceled health insurance. You can receive unemployment while on light-duty in NY. But the employer was fighting this, saying they had no light duty (nothing new there, they've done that to their employees as well in past). They also told unemployment I wasn't on layoff. This they later contradicted, when the told WCB that I was on lay-off as of 12/8/2010.
When I received the info about the canceled health insurance, The woman in the health and welfare office said it was canceled due to "end of employment." Our BA, who is also the local president, gave me the run around.
I than contacted the shop steward and said I needed to file a grievance. Between the shop steward and the BA, I got the run around til 3/9/11. I also had filed complaint with WCB about the canceled helath insurance.
On 3/11/11, the shop steward called and said that I couldn't get my health insurance back unless I won the upcoming unemployment hearing. That sounded like blackmail to me.
On 3/17/2011, I won the unemployment hearing.
On 3/21/2011, shop steward called me and now said that the employer wouldn't pay the health insurance unless I dropped the complaint with WCB. I said that was blackmail, and that I wouldn't drop the complaint.
Health insurance was reinstated just prior to my first Compensation hearing on 6/20/2011.
WCB did rule in my favor at 2 heairngs and an appeal, for the work related accident.
But I was never called back to work. The plant was re-opened 4/1/2011 and everyone went back to work except me.