A person who is on disability leave does not receive any benefits from the city during the period of the disability and is considered to be retired from city employment.
The employee took a voluntary leave of absence pending a non-duty disability pension determination. He received the pension until physicians determined he could be reemployed. The city offered him a position within the statutory requirement at a reduction in wages. A dispute arose over his status and benefits, and he filed a petition over the questions. The petition was dismissed, but the decision was reversed on appeal, where the Court of Appeals found that when the employee was deemed fit to return to work, he still retained some employee status for purposes of the Act, and as an employee and a veteran, he could not be demoted except for incompetence or misconduct. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court of Minnesota.
Was the veteran considered an employee and demoted from his position?
The court held that the employee retained his status while on leave of absence, but once his application was approved, a leave of absence was no longer needed because there was no employment status left to protect. The city satisfied its obligation to the employee by rehiring at a salary that was greater than the amount of his disability pension. The employee's rehiring at the lower level was not a removal because he had ceased to be an employee once his disability leave was approved.