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  • Disability Leave for Surgery

    My father and I work for the same company. When my father started in his position a different company was in charge and was outbid by the new company. We are now employed by the new company since July 26, 2004. My father will be having gastric bypass surgery in November and will need up to four weeks off. He also has 2 weeks unpaid vacation scheduled in October. The new company is trying to tell him that if he wants the time off for the surgery that he cannot have the time off for his vacation. The surgery is being covered by his insurance company(not paid for by his current employer) and his doctor told him that this is a life and death situation. I would like to know if the new company can prevent him from taking his vacation? They are pretty much telling him that if he does not cancel his vacation he will be fired or he can quit. We live and work in Pennsylvania.
    Thank You.

  • #2
    Pregnancy

    Let me make sure that I understand - they are willing to let him go on leave for the surgery but they are not willing to let him receive his vacation pay when he does so. Is that correct?

    I have other questions, as well. Has he already earned the vacation? Or, is it vacation that he will accrue over time? The reason I ask is that in many states, an employee does not have the right to the vacation, even if he/she should leave. (In some states, once it is earned, it can not be taken.)

    Also, is his medical condition been classified as a disability? If so, it is illegal for an employer to withhold a benefit for a person with a disability that would normally be given to a person without a disability. So, if they typically let people use vacation time when the employee is sick, and they are not letting him do so, they may be guilty of discrimination.

    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Lillian Connell

    Forum Moderator
    www.laborlawtalk.com

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    • #3
      Thank you for responding. He has not accrued the 2 weeks vacation for October, but when he was hired(in July) it was agreed that he could take the vacation anyway since he already had made plans and made a deposit. His medical condition has not been classified as a disability. He decided to have the surgery after his doctor told him his condition is life threatening and will be covered by his medical insurance. The surgery would be in November. Do they have the right to tell him that he cannot do both, even though when he was hired they told him he could? Thank You

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      • #4
        Vacation

        Unfortunately, they have the right to determine if he should receive vacation. I tried to see if Pennsylvania has a statute that mandates a right to vacation. However, I couldn't find any. You may wish to call the US Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division. They can assist you (or at least point you in the right direction). Their number can be found in your telephone directory under US government.

        Good luck.
        Lillian Connell

        Forum Moderator
        www.laborlawtalk.com

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