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FMLA in NYC New York

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  • FMLA in NYC New York

    About 21 days ago, while I was at work, my wife had to go to the local ER due to a really bad flu coupled with extreme fever (106.4). As you can imagine, I freaked out while at work, because for many days she wasn't feeling well and had kept asking me to stay home to tend to her health needs, but I kept blowing it off thinking she would get better.

    So anyway, this ER visit occurred in the early morning while I was at work, so once I received a call from the nurse at the ER stating that my wife was very sick, I immediately went to my supervisor and told him that I needed to take anywhere from 10-20 days off in order to care for my wife due to her sickness. He suggested that I use a FMLA leave in order to care for a sick family member. I agreed and just put in an application with human resources stating the time needed and reason for the time of absence (Part I of the FMLA papers). I put down that I needed 16 days off (10 work days) and the reason was my wife's sickness (no actual diagnosis).

    The human resource person told me that what they would do is use up my holidays and vacation time that I had earned and that once I return I could provide them with the physician's documentation that provides the actual proof for the leave needed for the FMLA.

    Now, that same day, I go to the ER and the doctor tells me that my wife simply had the flu, spiked a fever and would be sent home on some antibiotics and would not need any additional visits and most likely would return to normal in 2-3 days tops.

    I then figured, well this is certainly not FMLA applicable, but since the time alloted to me was using my earned vacation and holiday time, I figured no big deal.

    So I go back to work 3 days ago and told the human resource person that my leave was not FMLA applicable and due to my wife's stable condition, my leave was just a personal leave. Along with that statement, I also told them that I don't have any documentation with a doctor's official diagnosis to back up any claim needed for the FMLA forms. They didn't take it too well, since it just looked like I found a way around using my vacation/holiday time without proper scheduling, but nonetheless, they hadn't filed anything under FMLA since they needed the extra documentation. That's at least what they told me. They said that I used up earned vacation and holiday time and that they had not filed the FMLA documents because they needed the validating documentation from the doctor. My next check will just consist of time based on holiday and vacation time that was used during my leave.

    My question/concern is, can there be any legal ramifications due to my actions that might pertain to FMLA? Is there any proof for any action? Can they just get pissed and fire me?


    Thanks for any and all of your help!
    Last edited by GodOFMice; 03-31-2009, 03:15 PM.

  • #2
    So, even though your wife wasn't really sick, you just took the time off anyway?

    I think they're already pissed off at you and, yes, they can fire you. Since your wife's illness was not an FMLA-qualifying event and you failed to provide any documentation of such, FMLA would not give you any protection.
    I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Marketeer View Post
      So, even though your wife wasn't really sick, you just took the time off anyway?

      I think they're already pissed off at you and, yes, they can fire you. Since your wife's illness was not an FMLA-qualifying event and you failed to provide any documentation of such, FMLA would not give you any protection.
      If they decide to fire me, then so be it. While it would suck, I will just deal with the consequences. My question is whether they can pull any legal action and try to claim FMLA fraud?

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      • #4
        I don't see why they would/how they could. You told them upon your return it was not FMLA leave & you never gave them the required "documentation" (doctor's cert.) for it to be charged as FMLA leave.

        They can discipline you/terminate you though for taking time off that you later knew would not be FMLA which you told them originally it would be. Only FMLA leave protects your job.

        I don't see them taking any legal action against you re FMLA "fraud."
        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
          Originally posted by Betty3 View Post
          I don't see why they would/how they could. You told them upon your return it was not FMLA leave & you never gave them the required "documentation" (doctor's cert.) for it to be charged as FMLA leave.

          They can discipline you/terminate you though for taking time off that you later knew would not be FMLA which you told them originally it would be. Only FMLA leave protects your job.

          I don't see them taking any legal action against you re FMLA "fraud."
          I'm glad to hear that legal action would seem out of the question, that was the concern I truly had with it all. Most likely they will bring disciplinary procedures onto the table, but that's manageable...

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