Strategic HR Business Partners & Consultants

Got an email from a friend.. asking my HR folk to help with answers.. see post below

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I had originally taken leave for twelve weeks because I had to get surgery on my knee for a torn ACL. A week before the end of my leave the company benefits department reached out to me and asked me if I needed an extension. So, my doctor said it would be better for me to stay two more weeks because I will have difficulty walking and carrying things if need be; based on that fact i extended my leave for another two weeks. The extension was accepted and once I came back on the agreed time I was put in training for around a week. During the week the Site leader had told me to reach out to HR and get my retention letter to sign it, I reached out to HR and she refused to see me or talk to me at my first two attempts. The HR manager sent me an appointment request for the past Friday which is also the end of the first week of my return to work. The HR manager explained that because I had taken more than 12 weeks the position I had is gone and by law they are not responsible to keep my position. She offered I either get demoted and stay on the project till the end of February and get retention and severance of the new position or I go ahead and be benched for 5 weeks. My question is this legal or not? Can I do anything about it?

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