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  • STD question-harassment

    I have a question about STD in Pennsylvania- I work for a company that has almost 1600 employees. I was hospitalized in February for respiratory failure associated with chronic uncontrolled asthma. I was put on FMLA and also STD concurrently as part of my benefits with the company. I gave all pertinent info needed as requested by my HR director as well as my treating docs filling out the FMLA forms. My pulmonary doctor ,after looking at my CT scans discovered a problem with my sinuses that was contributing to the severity of my condition and suggested I see my ENT-I did and surgery was suggested-but because my breathing was so bad he needed to wait until I was cleared by my pulmonary and the surgery was scheduled 1 week before my FMLA was to run out- my HR person sent another FMLA form to me to have the ENT doc fill out- he did and explained the severity of the surgery etc- he said recovery due to my asthma and the severity of the surgery would be extensive. I never heard anything from HR until 2 days after my surgery- they left message demanding to know when I was coming back-my husband called and explained to them that the surgery was extensive and I was not coming back any time soon as explained by my doctor in the forms sent. She told him my FMLA was done in 4 days. I called them after a few days- she put me on speaker phone with my supervisor and told me they were concerned about vacation coverage etc- that my FMLA ran out and that they would need to make other arrangements. I told her I fully nderstood FMLA as I used to be a HR manager-my STD is for 26 weeks so i told her that if they needed to replace me-I understood by law they are allowed to do this-my doc sent a letter stating that my recovery would be at least 3 months if not more- this letter was on 5/14- she was faxed this and hard copied it as well-I saw my pulmonary for follow up as well- a note was sent then- she is claiming that the note for 3 months is not adequate and my doctor can not make that determination- he has been an ENT for 20 yrs-I think he knows what he is doing- she has insinuated that the company can drop me to cobra and went as far as saying if she does not get a note every 30 days she can stop my paychecks etc-I have given her notes every appointment- by fax and hard copy- she claims it is only asthma and wants to know why I am still out- I am also on oxygen at my home intermittantly as I have dyspnea(shortness of breath on exertion)They posted my job on the company website- and now she seems to be harassing me by phone more frequently and claiming my STD requires this- I have asked for the policy info 3 times- and never received any documentation- What are my rights for this? I cannot take the stress and it is aggravating my already bad situation. Can they do this to me? What are my options....?? Can somebody help, I would appreciate any help...

  • #2
    How about turning in the notes that indicate you have had surgery and why you need to be out for so long? If none of the documentation that they have indicates that you had surgery, then yes, they are right to be asking questions. They do not need to take your word for it.

    Is this STD policy and internal salary continuation plan or insurance policy administered by an outside carrier?
    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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    • #3
      Hi ElleMD-
      All of my notes stated my condition and went into to detail about the surgery and I also sent her all of my discharge info from the hospital- She has had more than enough information about my condition. I am unable to find out anything about our short term policy,as I have asked for this information several times and she has not sent it to me. She is definitely trying to upset me and force me into coming back to work before I am able by insinuating that they are going to cut my STD and medical benefits. I am so frustrated over this situation-I am unsure of what I can do at this point.

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      • #4
        "she has insinuated that the company can drop me to cobra and went as far as saying if she does not get a note every 30 days she can stop my paychecks etc-I have given her notes every appointment- by fax and hard copy"

        STD doesn't continue your medical benefits, just your pay. They did have to continue your medical benefits for the 12 weeks of FMLA. Once you pass those 12 weeks, they can move you to COBRA and require you to pay 100% of the premium.

        They can also, both under FMLA and after FMLA, require you to recertify (through the doctor, not just notes about appts) your medical condition every 30 days.

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        • #5
          The answer to ElleMD's question is important. I haven't seen an answer to this yet.

          Is this STD policy an internal salary continuation plan or insurance policy administered by an outside carrier?
          If the former, completely up to the employer. If the latter, the plan rules must be followed; you should have (or request) if you don't have one, a copy of the SPD (Summary Plan Document) for the outside (if applicable) plan.
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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          • #6
            I found out it is a policy that they employer has set in place- Called Unum. All of the notes I have provided were updates from the doctors- the one doctor even tried calling her 3 times to go over my condition with her- she never called him back- so he sent a 2 page letter explaining the treatment plan for me and my functional capacity- as well as the name of the physician he planned to refer me to a teaching hospital in the city. The STD policy states it covers my benefits and 70% of my pay for 26 weeks and LTD kicks in after 180 days and requires documentation of the ongoing condition and treatment. I had to get my coworker to give me this info as I stated she has not sent me any policy info. I have asked for it several times- I also have been off of FMLA for 4 weeks now- upon her telling me it was to expire, I did ask her if my health benefits would continue and was told yes, now because they posted my job online, this changes? I have almost died because of my health condition being so bad, I am in treatment for it and don't need the stress or undue pressure of these phone calls to aggravate my condition, all because they want me to come back to work before the 5 docs treating me say I am ready.
            Last edited by josie426; 06-16-2008, 04:55 PM. Reason: forgot to add info

            Comment


            • #7
              Since you claim to understand FMLA, you also know that once your FMLA expired, they had no legal obligation to hold your job at all. They could legally have terminated your employment four weeks ago, including your health insurance (though COBRA would apply).

              So if I were you, I'd be presenting them with whatever documentation they are requiring.
              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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              • #8
                Hi cbg-
                I have given them all documentation that they have asked for in detail-from not one doc- but 5 docs-I have an attorney who I have consulted with regarding this-he has told me to have the docs send the info by fax and by mail-to protect myself- which I have done without delay-When my HR person told me that my FMLA was expiring- I asked all pertinent question regarding my benefits ,as well the company intentions, for my continued employment,job status,etc while I was on the company paid STD and was told to continue to send all documentation for the STD- which I have been doing. My attorney feels that they do not want to pay my STD as part of my contract because they are trying to fill my position. My LTD is also company paid- but it has a pre-existing clause on it- this condition is pre-existing- I have filed for SS disability as it was suggested by all of my treating physicians that I would no longer be able to work. I have fully complied with all of their requests- this is not the 1st time this company has done this to an employee-except the other employee died during her treatment while on STD.

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                • #9
                  If you aren't returning to work, why wouldn't you resign? STD is independent of employment and you would be dealing with the carrier, not the employer. I can't imagine why the employer would be involved unless it eiher is or is not clear that you will not be returning ever in which case, yes, I'd be asking questions too. I might be inclined to hold your spot and continue benefits if I have reason to believe you are coming back in 3 months, but if you are filing for SSI and never returning, that is a different ballgame. As it wasn't clear until this last post that you do not intend to return, I imagine it is likewise unclear to your employer, particukarly if they are getting notes from 5 different doctors with different conditions, treatment plans and estimated treatment completion dates.

                  While they can not go back and retrocharge you for the time you were on FMLA, they can go back and charge you the full premium for the time that you were off following FMLA.
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Unum

                    If you are still covered by Unums STD or LTD policy (or if you were recently denied a Unum claim) you are entitled to request an IME (Independent Medical Examination). This is an independent examination by a doctor who does not work for either You or Unum. Most people do not know they have a right to this, and a lot of claims are overturned with this additional information.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      And this thread is three years old; I'm sure her situation has been resolved by now.
                      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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