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  • Mandated OT and FMLA Illinois

    I apologize in advance if this would be better placed in the Overtime forum, or perhaps another forum that I didn't see.

    I am an hourly wage employee in a large insurance company in Illinois. Due to innovative (watch the dripping sarcasm there) corporate "service models" we've been on manditory overtime for more than the past six months. We've also been told that should we fail to make our overtime hours, in addition to disciplinary actions, the difference in the time we worked and the time we were mandated to work will be deducted from our FMLA.

    I understand that my company can legally mandate all the overtime they want, and proscribe disciplinary action for failing to meet it (ala Insubordination, right?), however, can they dock my FMLA time for "overtime" hours I don't work in addition to that?

    Thanks,

    James.

  • #2
    FMLA is a federal law & no they may not.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    • #3
      I'm not so sure. If the overtime was mandated and is time that definitely would have been worked had they not been on FMLA, why WOULDN'T it be counted?
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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      • #4
        You're saying that if in the future one or more of the employees needs to use FMLA, they would get less than the max. 12 wks. (even if needed) because they didn't work required hrs. previously & the time was ded. from the FMLA before they even took it? Maybe so, it just didn't sound right to me. I guess if they never take FMLA, they lose nothing?

        jegalg- are you talking about employees already on/taking FMLA or deductions from future FMLA someone *might* take?

        cbg - does it not matter either way- if already on FMLA or if they *might* take it in the future & already have time deducted from it. Maybe I'm reading the post wrong. I just never heard of taking FMLA away so if you ever need it, you will start off with less than the 12 wks.
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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        • #5
          I'm reading it that he's already on intermittant FMLA and that they are applying ALL the hours that he would have worked, including the mandatory overtime, against his FMLA. I don't see anything wrong with that.
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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          • #6
            I agree with that - I wasn't sure that was what he meant. That he was already on FMLA - maybe/prob. so; sure didn't make much sense to me otherwise.
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by cbg View Post
              I'm reading it that he's already on intermittant FMLA and that they are applying ALL the hours that he would have worked, including the mandatory overtime, against his FMLA. I don't see anything wrong with that.
              That's the only way I can make sense of it.

              If, during normal operations, the OP was using one day a week of intermittent leave, the leave could go on indefiniitely (subject to recertification of the need, of course), but if the mandatory OT adds another half day per week, then the leave will be exhausted after 40 weeks.
              Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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              • #8
                Now, all we need is the OP to come back and clarify.
                I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                • #9
                  Sorry it took a while to get back, I am on manditory OT right now. *grin*

                  Noone is on FMLA at the moment. What we are being told is, if we cannot make all of our OT requirements, we are going to be forced to take the remaining time as FMLA. So dispite the fact that there is nothing wrong with me or my family, if they mandate 10 hours OT for the week and I'm short 4 hours at the end, they are saying those hours will be FMLA.

                  The whole thing seems rather goofy to me. And the only reason I can possibly think that they would do this is because they are required to meet OT quotas from coporate offices across the country, and this would serve as a quantifiable reason for missing those OT quotas ("we had 95% OT met, and 5% of the staff was on FMLA"). But I don't know that for sure.

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                  • #10
                    They absolutely cannot require you to take time as FMLA unless all of the qualifying criteria are met, and one of the criteria is that the employee or a qualifying dependent have a serious health condition. However, until such time as someone is actually forced to take FMLA for a non-qualifying situation, no violation has actually occurred. At that time, contact an attorney or report the violation to the US DOL, or both.
                    Last edited by cbg; 10-03-2007, 09:35 PM.
                    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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                    • #11
                      Agree, they certainly can't do that.
                      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Wouldn't the violation not occur until the employee is denied FMLA for a qualifying reason because they have already used up their 12 weeks erroneously? Otherwise, regardless of what they call it, it is just unpaid leave. Essentially, the employee isn't losing anything at all as the employer isn't required to pay for OT not worked.

                        I agree this is stupid and technically a violation, but there really isn't any detriment to the employee unless and until they later need to use those hours for an FMLA approved purpose.
                        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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                        • #13
                          ElleMD now you are confusing me, so your saying there should not be an issue unless for example the company applies X amount of hours to their FMLA time and the employee happens to run out of FMLA time due to this? That is illegal because from the way you are describing it then an employee should be able to use FMLA "Unpaid Time" time for anything they want! If you as an employee need FMLA you have to provide proof that you or an immediate family member has a qualifying condition to justify such, and the time you use under this law is counted against your time so how can an employer burn your time for anything other than a qualifying condition?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kendel72 View Post
                            how can an employer burn your time for anything other than a qualifying condition?
                            Elle's reasoning is that there is no legal violation until the employer denies you FMLA leave or fires you when you have not really used all available.

                            The bosses are lying to corporate to make it look like they would meet goals, but for all the folks on "FMLA." At some point, someone upstairs will notice the unusually high rate of folks out on FMLA and investigate. The iditos that came up with the little shell game will then be in trouble.

                            They should be willing to tell corporate to cut back on the overtime OR be willing to fire the employees that refuse to work the OT.
                            Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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                            • #15
                              Somebody please post documentation that states that an employer can arbitrarily place you on FMLA without an employee knowing about it , applying for it or qualifying for it! If his employer has already put him on FMLA for X amount of hours then you dont need to be certified, by them doing this they have already accepted an FMLA from you and anytime you want to be out all you have to do is call in and notify your employer that you will be out that day on FMLA!

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