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The ballad of Jamaal, Baule and Saul

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in Employee Benefits Program,HR Management,Human Resources

Jamaal Johnson, a GED instructor at Nash Community College, submitted a note from Dr. Raymond Baule stating he needed to miss two months of work. It didn’t offer a specific reason, and Baule was not a certified workers’ compensation physician.

The college’s insurance carrier then made an appointment for Jamaal with Dr. Robert Saul, who is certified. Jamaal told the college’s HR director that Saul approved his time off.

But when the college asked Saul what was wrong with Jamaal, he said, “Nothing at all.”

The HR director mailed a certified letter to Jamaal asking whether he would be returning to work or requesting leave without pay. A little later, the HR director sent another letter explaining that Jamaal wasn’t eligible for workers’ compensation. Both letters went unclaimed. Finally, the college made the call and sent a letter terminating Jamaal.

He was indeed turned down when he applied for unemployment benefits. He appealed.

The unemployment compensation referee also rejected the claim, and Jamaal appealed to the Employment Security Commission (ESC). Jamaal said he relied on Baule when he didn’t go to work.

The ESC thought that tale was tall and told Jamaal he should have heeded Saul, not Baule, and if he was going to be off, he should at least call. The upshot: no benefits for Jamaal.

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