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a heads Up about FMLA

sweet sopranossweet soprano Posts: 71
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:48 AM in Water Cooler
Sometimes when bad things happen to us the only sense there can be gleaned from it (in my mind anyway) is to share the experience with others, hoping that someone else won't be harmed like I (we) have been.
After I was injured in 2004 from a rear end collision, I was under the impression that I was they only vicitm. Wrong!
My husband was fired from his job of 31 years for excessive abseenteeisn. Mind you he was salaried and not subject to the company attendance policy. However, when you have a supervisor who doesn't care, and a general mgr. that has an old vendetta again my husband...all of a sudden he started getting written up. The crazy part was he wasn't in violation of the hourly employee policy..but when you are salary, there are only the rules that the company can make up against you.
Fast forward to 2007, after the dismissal, my hubby inquired with the MI civil rights office. They advised him to file a claim for FMLA ( family medical leave act) law violation. He saw a lawyer. The lawyer told him he had reason to sue. This is a federal law. The judge also ruled that there was enough for her to hear the suit.
Trial was this past October..and we lost! I am still crushed...the jury of 8 people said the reason they ruled against my hubby was because he should have known about this law. Well, they didnt listen very well during the trial, because the law states that the employee does not have the obligation to ASK for FMLA...
OK I'm really going on here....what I want to say is, if you or your family are getting help by someone who is working, and they are taking time to jelp you for doc appts, surgeries, recoveries etc....just know that in the U.S you are entitled to the time needed (there are limits of course) to do what you need for family, it can even be used an hour at a time. And if you happen to work for a crappy company like my hubby did and all they care about is firing you or writing you up...don't get frigged over....GO AHEAD AND ASK FOR THE FMLA...I wish someone would have let us know about it. And if you ask and they tell you you dont need it...or cant have it, get that in writing! No wonder some companies treat their workers lousy...they get away with it.
Didnt matter that the law was there to protect us, when you get a jury that gets confused, doesnt listen/understand...it's all over.


  • I'm surprised that the judge didn't make them go back on that decision. How can they rule against a point of law? Might be worth a letter to the judge/court.

    I had a similar issue with FMLA. I was out in June 2009 for shoulder surgery. I rushed back after 6 weeks to keep my job. Then in January I had back surgery and had to use my vacation time for 2010. THe company policy was that once you go back to work your FMLA is over. I checked and was told they can make alot of their own rules. Then when I needed to go out again this past June I was two weeks short of qualifying for a new FMLA leave...because of the surgery last year. Two weeks later came their decision to let me go.....
  • I'm confused I understand FMLA is up to 12 weeks, which is broken down hourly if need be, eg not being out consecutively, like if you let's say asthma which may cause you to be absent more then company policy.
    Time can be used for you or a dependent family member.

    I believe smaller companies may have a loop hole. But like in my case, I have been out since my surgery and my position has been protected under FMLA guidelines, my FMLA was set up in connection with my std, through the insurance carrier.

    My FMLA leave just expired the other day, which from what I understand I am now at the mercy of my employer. I pray for their compassion & understanding. I am still on std, my company is a larger company and has a generous 26 week std policy. I am one of those freaks who love to work and I love my job!

    I am scared to death at this point of losing my job. I have spoken with my manager who has somewhat reassured me, but I've heard so many stories like Sweet Soprano's & Kris-NY that I am worried! I pray that I can get back to work even part time ASAP. I am in constant pain and can not sit or stand for more then 10-20 min at a time! My recovery has been a mess. I am on a lot of meds and can't function, I mean oxy alone, 30mg every 4 hours, not to mention the other 6 meds I take throughout the day! God, I hope I get answers tomorrow from my Myelogram!

    Sweet Soprano, I am so sorry for what you & your family have been through. I'm with Kris, if the jury's verdict was based on their obvious gross ignorance of the law, surely there has to be some recourse!

    Kris, I am so sorry to hear about your job.

    It's obvious when you or your family member are hurt and you are out, no matter how great of an employee or what your tenure is, once you stop being a productive employee you become a zero, no less then a zero, you are a liability! No heart in corporate America!

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  • I know when I was on FMLA and so was my H,,, so we had to get forms filled out from a doc, and then when I needed time off for medical reasons, I would tell them the reason was FMLA, that was all, but if I called in absent, and not mention it was FMLA, it was put down as bad attendance, you MUST remember to call it FMLA,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, When my H had to use it to take me to appts, same applied at his work, he had to say he would be out FMLA the reason,,,, we never had problems.

    I know my company explained to me that when I was gonna leave early,come in late, or take any time off, if it was for medical, to call in and specifly say " I wont be in ,fmla, or I'm leaving early, fmla, etc"

    Hope this helps some people
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