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Can I be fired?

dmoonchildddmoonchild Posts: 383
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Chronic Pain
I just returned to work from 3 months FMLA due to my back. This makes 4 months all together. I was out in May also. Anyway, I was told first thing this morning that I was being written up for mistakes that were made and I could be fired. I also got yelled at by another boss. I have a meeting with my big boss on Thursday. He didnt even have the balls to tell me himslf today. He had our Union Rep do it.
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Comments

  • Companies can't fire you because you were out with FMLA, but they can sure find other reasons to.
    Document EVERYTHING. Keep EVERYTHING.
    I had to hire an attorney for just such an issue.
  • Hopefully your Union Rep can help you out here, isn't that what unions are for? To protect you, the employee in situations just like this? And yes... get a lawyer on the phone soon. Write everything down. They can find anything to fire you for, but I am sure you can prove discrimination against your medical condition.

    Good Luck
  • If you exceed 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period, your employer has the right to terminate you. I'm a little confused by your being written up, though. What specifically did they write you up for?
  • I thought that as long as you were on medical leave you could not be fired for time off due to your condition (I am from Canada so the laws may be different). Here, even mat leave gives the person 1 year off with guarenteed employment after the 1 year.
  • BionicWomanBBionicWoman Posts: 619
    edited 06/20/2016 - 8:44 AM
    In the United States, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 allows a certain employees to take up to 12 weeks of paid or unpaid leave during a 12 month period, with their job protected, assuming they meet specific requirements.

    First, the person has to have been an employee of the company for at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours. The months/hours requirement is not consecutive, so seasonal workers, teachers, etc. are covered by FMLA once they meet the length of employment requirement.

    When you use FMLA for leave, your job and benefits are protected, meaning you can continue healthcare and other benefits exactly as you would if you were working; if you were paying for a portion of your benefits, you're required to continue to do so. At the end of your leave, you're entitled to return to your original position or a position of equivalent work, pay, and benefits.

    After 12 weeks of leave within the 12 month timeframe, your job is no longer protected by FMLA and the employer has the right to terminate you. They can choose to continue holding your position voluntarily, but they're not obligated to.

    That's the basics. All the gory details can be found on the US Department of Labor's website.

    http://www.dol.gov

    I became very familiar with the FMLA regulations when I couldn't return to work after 12 weeks of leave and lost my job. 8}
  • When my husband was off for 2 weeks after a work injury, he returned to work to find that someone new was already hired for his job. He was told they could not wait for him to come back. He saw the writing on the wall and went and found a WC atty that day. Good thing that was the only thing that saved him from loosing his job and everything else in his life.

    It has been two years now and we are still fighting.

    I agree with the others here document, document, document. Put a date on everything you document, document immediately after an incident at work happens. If you can record when they talk to you. All you have to do is turn on your phone and record. Protect yourself, your employer is looking for a cheap, easy way out.

    Good Luck
  • legally, they can't fire you for being out on disability, but as one person put it, they can find other things to get you for. they don't care if you are in pain or are on meds, they just look as excuses. they feel that if you can't do your job then you still need to be out. i have to be a downer, but this is what goes on. i do not have great feelings for unions also. they basically talk a lot but do nothing. go with the lawyer thing. try the union, but in my district, they will drop you like a hot potato and go with the administration. if you feel like you were forctd to come back too early then you might have a case. to me unions are useless. document everything. you have to be warned verbally, then a write up then remidation, then termination if they feel you are not making progress. too bad it is up to boss to determine if you have made progress. they can make up things if they want to. document, documennt. good luck and i hope you stick it to your boss
    jon
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,714
    that while there may be some general ground rules that the FMLA dictate, many companies can make additional provisions on that. They at least have to meet the minimum, but can exceed any rule.
    You will hear on this site as well as others, that a company can not fire you when you are on medical leave and return.
    However, there are SO many loopholes, that the actual ground rules laid out for Federal FMLA can be easily be manipulated.

    In the larger companies, they generally have more lenient rules than what the government requests.
    But dont think for a second, those same companies know how to get around those rules as well as many others.

    Some valid reasons on how they can circumvent the rules:
    1) Your job/assignment has been done away with, so we do not have anything for you. But can you qualify for something else?
    2) State that based on your medical situation, you do not have the sharpness or ability to continue to perform your previous job to the standards required.

    And that goes on and on. Large companies have staff of lawyers to deal with situation like this.

    But anytime you are away from your job for apn extended period of time, as phxchele stated document everything. The more documentation you have regarding the job you were performing, the means on why you were away , etc the better it is to your advantage.

    Also, listen to what Amanda is saying. I have never been in a union, but I know that strong unions can make a major difference in how the employee and employer deal with medication leaves
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • They are writing me up for all the mistakes I had made this year. Basically they went thru my whole caseload and found mistakes. I am a Parole Officer and we have caseloads of over 300. It is completely unmanageable. All of our bosses know that. Not one Parole officer has a perfect caseload. Im guessing they are looking for a reason to can me so I dont keep going out on med leave and leaving them with a caseload to handle. I have gone thru my entire caseload in the past 2 days and I have to say, I think for being out 1/2 the year I did a pretty good job. My immediate supervisor in my office is a complete moron and all the big bosses know it. He was "put" in the position because his brother in law is a judge. The last time I went out on FMLA, he screamed at me over the phone and then hung up on me when I asked a question about FMLA. I eventually called my big boss and he was furious that I was treated that way. I understand and I take 100% responsibility for my mistakes, but I don't believe its call for a write up. I am actually a senior Officer and I am very good at my job. If they would go thru everyone's case load, Mine would look perfect compared.Also a guy was caught stealing $40,000 and he didnt get written up, so I think they are going thru the motions of canning me. Can ya get unemployment if ya get canned? Anyway, I feel better today, one day at a time. I am going to apply for a job where my hubby works. Its computer business and its a great place to work.
  • In that case, they certainly can fire you. If they're writing you up for mistakes that you actually made, technically that has nothing to do with your medical leave - beyond the need to write you up once you've returned.

    Prior to going out on medical leave, I was absolutely obsessive with my caseload. I knew others would be reviewing all of my cases and documentation while I was out and any mistakes would be magnified by other workers' irritation over having to take my caseload on top of their own overwhelming number of cases.

    It nearly killed me, but I didn't want a line of people staffing my cases with our supervisor and having every other statement begin with something I did or didn't do, because they were under the delusion that having my spine screwed together was the equivalent of a vacation in the Bahamas.

  • I agree the thing is is that these mistakes would usually be overlooked as all the bosses know that the caseloads are too high, but because I am constantly missing time I really think Im a goner.
  • That's where needing leave time really works against us. On a day-to-day basis, we can work our way around the short cuts we take to in order to actually do our jobs effectively. But when we're gone for weeks or months at a time, people have a way of villainizing us for the exact same shortcuts that can be found littered throughout their own case files. ~X(
  • Im going to write up a new resume....geez I haven't done that in over 20 yrs
  • My job was eliminated 2 years ago but they had to find another job for me. Thank heavens for the union. They'll explain everything to you. After 16 years i kept my seniority. They clear a path when i walk in all because of the union. Bad management bad bad bad.
    I wish you the best for your situation. You have a right to be there! Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • In my experience, the union was anything BUT a help-except to help the county mess me over.

    It would be hard pressed, but you might be able to find a lawyer to take your case and go the discrimination route (ie: you've been discriminated against because of your disabilities, etc.). I guess it depends on how motivated you are to fight it. I can tell you from first hand experience that suing your employer is a long and grueling process. In my case, I had everything necessary to win except for one tiny detail that the defense zeroed in on and completely contorted to suit their case. As such, I ended up with a ridiculous settlement and absolutely zero medical coverage. Like you, I was totally honest and gave my all to my job (even thru the pain), but that one little detail that was twisted around was the deciding factor, and as I said, I got NO help from the union-the only side they were on was the county's.

    I really feel for you, but unfortunately it doesn't look good, and that really, really sucks! :<

    Try to keep that chin up, and if you need to talk or vent, please don't hesitate to PM me, OK? I do care.
  • Your situation at work sounds, well miserable, between the corruption and nepotism going on, managers calling you at home to scream and yell, building a case against you so they don't need to be concerned with an employee who is not 100% healthy.

    Okay I am going to play devil's advocate here... first and foremost: I truly hope you ARE able to navigate your way through this and stay employed. But if not, maybe its a blessing in disguise. What's the saying... when God closes a door, he opens a window? Sometimes things happen for a reason. Stay strong, sounds like you have a good attitude and a supportive family. And you've got lots of support here :)))

    Let us know how it goes.
    -Melissa
  • X( I know that we didn't but it makes me angry, I can still remember what happened to me when I returned to work. Early BTW! Too bad that I couldn't get them to fire me, and I tried. I wanted away from there and I also wanted my unemployment! While I was gone for 10 weeks or so my manager neglected to put a temp in my place, right in the middle of the busiest time of the year. I had to have emergency surgery so it wasn't like I had planned it this way. When I returned to work all of my fellow employees greeted me with anger, disgust, and malice. They were not only openly hostile but they acually came right out and yelled at me, put me down, and told me "ME" how much harder they had to work because I was off work and not there to help them. Gee, sorry about that! Isn't it the managers job to fill the vacavt spot of an employee who will be gone for awhile. Even my managers very rudely told me how they felt about me having surgery at the wrong time of year, they didn't hold back anything. I was sickened by these people. What good hearts they have! Funny thing is, I tried to get fired after that because I hated being there after that, but they refused to do it. I was too good at what I did. Bummer for me.
    As to Unions, they are only as good and strong as the people are behind them. My husband's Union is almost useless, about all they can do is make sure that he can't be fired and that he won't lose his senority. But when it comes to new contracts, they are in the companies pocket rather than the employees. But with the exception of my husband and a few others, nobody else ever wants to fight for anything better. Good luck with yours, I hope they are good.
    As to unemployment. Yes, you can get it if you are fired. The company that you work for would have to have a very good reason to deny you the benefits, such as gross misconduct. I don't think you fall into that category.
    As if all of our lives aren't already hard enough, we have to deal with rude and malicious employers. Deb, I wish you the very best and hope that everything works out for you. Whatever that may be!
    Jewels O:)
  • IF you have a union and are parole officer, you probably work for a state of local government. They generally have personell rules that they can give you so many warnings, verbal, then written. If they give you a written warning for a bunch of things you did in managing your caseload, wouldn't a good lawyer or union rep have a case that they all count as one. Being that you were not given a warning, then time to change whatever it is you did wrong, it doesn't seem right that they can give you multiple warnings at the same time. What about a good ADA lawyer. If you were out 4 months, they had to have extended your FMLA. Many companies do that for some people, but not for others, 3 months and 1 day and you are out the door. I am fortunate, I work for a company that is very understanding and would have a hard time even knowing if I was doing something wrong. Good luck -- have a knoweldgeable union rep with you. If you have a clean record, you may be able to negotiate a verbal as opposed to written warning with someone's help.
  • Ive been here 15 yrs and its in our contract that we get 6 months FMLA 3with med insurance then you need COBRA. I have been an excellent employee. Unfortunately we don't have reviews, or at least my incompetent supervisor doesn't do them. I have bailed him out of so many situations in the past I cant count ( everyone in the office has) He is a joke throughout the whole county and like I said he was put there because his brother in law is a Judge. I was told I get a write up then the 2 nd time is a suspension then termination. The thing is because our caseloads are so big everyone ALWAYS has some that slip thru the cracks, Its the nature of the business and every Officer will admit to that. And I can tell you for sure that I will make mistakes. (We cant go to our supervisor with questions because he doesn't have the answers) and he told us we are not to ask other supervisors because it will uncover his incompetence. SO we are stuck. One time....listen to this....he was written up and told to write a couple Hearing Reports...well, he cant do it so he called everyone into his office and told us to each do one, ON HIS COMPUTER, and sign HIS name to it. Anyone who didn't do it was at the mercy of his wrath. Like I am now. He is throwing files at me, slamming doors, ignoring me. Talking over me when I'm talking to others or on the phone. It makes me want to vomit. And the thing is is that there is no one to go to to tell. Our union is a JOKE!!! We just settled our contract after 3 yrs and got a whopping 1% raise and still no disability payment what so ever. No Maternity pay either.Im sorry Im rambling on I just got home from work and Im going to cry again. I don't know how much longer I can deal with this.
  • Guess what the first thing I would do if I won a trillion dollars in the lottery............... }:)
  • This should be easy to find out especially with the type of job that you have. In the state that you live in are you allowed to secretly tape someone without their knowledge, as long as at least one person knows about it? Which would be you! I have found out that this is legal in the state that I live in, AZ, and I plan to begin taping all of my visits with my PM. There is no telling what is in my files that he has written about me, and of course if I ever have to defend myself to a new PM who will the new doc believe? Me or the Physician? Not me! I have to have recourse. If it's legal, maybe you should try doing this yourself. I have found that on the web you can buy these tiny little recorders where it just looks like a lapel pin, or a pin on your blouse. That would be the best way to make sure that it's as clear as it can be. As rotten as this world can be, we have to take care of ourselves and be a little "James Bond" while we're at it. What's sad also is the fact that if everyone stuck together and went to the big boss about your supervisor, they would actually believe you, all of you. But I know how impossible it is to get anyone else to stick up for themself no matter what. What a shame. I'm sorry that you're so upset, as I mentioned above in an earlier post, I know how it feels. I didn't tell you the whole story either. And if you knew what I'm also going through with my PM, you'd have to wonder how I'm still here and not a blubbering idiot instead. Do something nice for yourself, try and relax, and remember, you can vent here all that you want to. To your hearts content, and we will read it. I hate to say this but, I always say that I would never wish this type of pain on another person. But sometimes, I just can't help but think that some people deserve it. I think, why are all of these really nice people in pain, or have such medical issues, and the real jerks out there are living the best life? Well, if you believe in Karma, which I do, I wouldn't want to be in their shoes when their time comes around for the payback!
    Best wishes,
    and some hugs too.......... >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D<
    Jewels
  • Jewels, Im real big on Karma, My husband is putting the kids to be and they Im getting a full body massage. I have to thank all of my friends here at SP. Im so glad you all here. I feel like there is a warm blanket around me
  • Dmoonchild, I assume that you possibly have a criminal justice degree and that you are familiar with building a case, statements, etc. Make sure that you document everything as everyone here has stated. Take a digital voice recorder with you to work and whenever you talk to anyone in a management position over you make sure that you record the conversation as well as document the meeting in a notebook with date, time, what was discussed, etc. You pointed out that you are being singled out for mistakes that you made in your caseload. They cannot single you out for this when others in the organization have similar errors or make the same amount if not more errors than you. This can and will work in your favor if you hire an attorney. You can prove intent along with them creating a negative / harassing work environment for you. Keep your documentation and when or if they finally dismiss you take your boss, his boss the State if you work for a State Agency and everyone up the ladder that might have contributed to you being fired to court and sue their pants off. If you do your homework and get the documentation along with everything that is currently in the system they are going to hang themselves. I know enough about computer forensics and other forensic areas to know that they can get all your bosses e-mails and any other documents that might show willful intent to have you terminated. Most likely, if you work for a State Agency they are going to want to settle due to the negative publicity, etc. along with the costs of actually going to court. Do your homework and you'll be fine in the long run. Hope this helps some.
    Michael
  • Yes, you can get unemployment if you are fired, if you have a case for it being an unfair firing. All of the documentation the others have talked about is important. Maybe you can get your dumb supervisor to yell at you and verbally abouse you with your little tape recorder running. You would then have a case against him. It's a shame that this has to happen. It's hard enough to have surgery and the pain of recovery, but then have to deal with worrying about your job. My boss is well known among all of the employees he supervises for his tirades. We all joke and say he's off his meds! Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

    Maggie
  • I dont think I will cry today! I had meeting with the big boss and it went very well. My jerk o superior totally threw me under the bus. He said he didn't knew when I was out and that I would never call when I was out. WHAT A BOLD FACED LIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I could write a 3 page post here but Ill spare ya the details. My supervisor got totally nabbed in like 3 lies. I threw him under a tractor trailer! Big Boss was shocked at the incompetence and his behavior towards me. I didn't get emotional just stated the facts . I think I did good. My Boss decided NOT to write me up after all and is having a meeting with jerk-o next week. With that I told him that I am very afraid of his wrath after this. He said to document EVERYTHING he does or says that isn't 100% appropriate, and go to the union. He said he will back me up and that this wasn't the first time he acted like this. 2 other people that used to work there were also lied about by this jerk and treated badly by him and eventually left because they were afraid of him. The Union rep said be careful of any sabotaging by him which he is known to do. I really need to watch everything I do.
  • I know how difficult it can be to work in a hostile work environment. Keep your head up and remember you do have co-workers and a big boss on your side. Sometimes its easier to give up the years and accomplishments we have put into our employers.
    Although I think health is more important we do need to work. If you have the strength to fight for this basic right you must document everything as it happens. I do think the final decision is up to you. Stay strong and let us know if we can help.

    O-
  • well see how it plays out, Thanks everyone for listening to me. You all are the greatest people in the world!
  • I have been out of town and just got to read all of this. I have been so screwed by employers in my lifetime and I am so, so glad that it is working out for you. I actually worked one place that the new boss did not like me and she was constantly writing me up saying that my coworkers were intimidated by me. I was not allowed to know who or how but, I did get fired over it! Anyway, I just had to say GOOD FOR YOU!!!
  • Well, I made it threw the first week. My daughter pooped on the potty too so she gets to sleep in our bed. WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE to snuggle with her. I hope evryone has a great weekend and again I want to thank all of you for helping me threw this very difficult time.
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