Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Discrimination and Disability during pregnancy Massachusetts

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Discrimination and Disability during pregnancy Massachusetts

    I am a manager for a large restaurant chain. (I work in Massachusetts, the company is based out of New Jersey.) Since I told my company I am pregnant they have been giving me "write ups" for incidents that have never occurred. I am very upset by this because I worked very hard to get where I am today. They have increased my work load and also have been scheduling me 8-10 days in a row with 10-12 hour shifts (on my feet). I am currently just shy of 4 months pregnant and have been experiencing extreme dizzy spells that result in "black outs" 2 times or more daily. This has been previously documented my by Primary Care Physician with the diagnosis of "orthostatichypotension". My blood pressure is so low I often have these moments while working, needless to say--a very dangerous situation. My doctor reccomended that I stop working. However, I would need to have some income and health insurance. I am the carrier of my health insurance policy as my husband is self-employed. My doctor told me that he would send in the STD forms for me, but that these conditions are common in pregnancy and that my claims would be denied. Basically I would have a note from my doctor saying that I wasn't able to work, but a decision from the disability company stating that I wasn't sick enough to be on disability. If I have documentation from my primary care prior to my pregnancy, will this help? Basically, they are trying to get rid of me at work, because they dont want to pay, can they do this?

  • #2
    If this treatment is BECAUSE of your pregnancy, it's illegal under both state and Federal law and you can talk to MCAD and/or the EEOC.

    However, what your disability company will or will not accept is up to the disability company.

    Are you eligible for FMLA?
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      I am fairly certain it is due to my pregnancy. I had one incident where a customer didnt like me and the write up stated that I had a series of complaints, which is untrue, it was only the one. I think they knew what they were doing getting me to sign the write up so that they have a way out of "discriminating against a pregnant woman". I am eligible for FMLA, but I dont completely understand it other than I am eligible for 12 weeks unpaid leave, and that it will ensure me a position with the company equal to my current position.

      Comment


      • #4
        The FMLA is not dependent on whether your disability carrier will pay benefits. If your doctor recommends that you should be off work, you can take protected FMLA.

        While this time would count against your FMLA, you also have 8 weeks of protected leave under state law. This runs concurrent with FMLA IF you still have FMLA available, but it is set up so that you get the 8 weeks MA regardless of your FMLA status. In other words, you can't add the 8 weeks of state leave to your FMLA and get 20 weeks, but if you've used up all your 12 weeks of FMLA you still get 8 weeks of MA leave.

        Having you sign a write up does not magically make discrimination go away.
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          So, I would be able to take my FMLA starting at about 20 weeks pregnancy (5 months) and then take the 8 weeks state leave totaling 20 weeks? Which would bring me to the end of my pregnancy. Would I still be able to have my medical benefits during this time? Would I have to pay 100%?

          What should I do as far as work having me sign a write up that was false?

          Comment


          • #6
            That's not quite what I said.

            FMLA is payable when you are medically unable to work. If you are able to work, you cannot take FMLA. If you DO take FMLA, and you have used it all up by the time you actually give birth, you can still take up to 8 weeks of MA medical leave. You cannot stack it to get 20 weeks off unless you medically need 20 weeks.

            FMLA can be taken intermittantly, not just in a block. If you need a day here and there, you can take a day here and there. You need medical documentation from your doctor saying what time off you need (your doctor will know what forms you need), and your employer is not obligated to allow you to take more time than it says. So if your doctor says you need two or three days a month, then if you take more than two or three days a month, your employer is allowed to question it, or go back and get an updated medical verification (not more often than every 30 days). Whatever time you have left when you give birth runs concurrently with the MA medical leave, with the understanding that under state law, you cannot be allowed less than 8 weeks medical leave. I can explain this much better in person - I have a great visual aid for it. It's a bit more difficult on a message board.

            You can maintain your health insurance benefits as long as you are on protected leave. You still have to pay the same amount that you would be paying if you were working; you cannot be required to pay more than you would if you were working.

            STD benefits are completely separate from the above.
            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              Actually, I would recommend that you follow up with your Company's HR dept, especially if it is a large organization.

              We have managers that think they can make decisions about disciplinary action in regards to pregnant employees. As soon as we learn about an issue, we take an unbiased look at the situation and take steps to remedy it. We then retrain the managers on appropriate parameters.

              What the managers don't know is that it would take an act of Congress for us to fire a pregnant woman. I don't want to say that we would never do it, but it wouldn't be for performance based reasons. Rather, we offer them a LOA beyond federal and state guidelines and post-birth the employee can return to work where we can deal with any performance issues.

              I would talk to your HR and say something like--"Can you help me figure out what is going on? As soon as Joe found out I was pregnant, things began to change. I want to continue to excel at my current position but may need your intervention." That should get the ball rolling, and hopefully you can get those warning notices retracted.

              Remember, your supervisor's attitude/behavior is not reflective of the entire Company's (at least I hope not).

              Good luck.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by cbg View Post
                FMLA is payable when you are medically unable to work.
                Just not to confuse the poster, FMLA doesn't actually pay you when you are off - it's up to 12 wks. of unpaid job protected leave.
                Last edited by cbg; 04-02-2009, 12:46 PM.
                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


                • #9
                  Whatever time you have left when you give birth runs concurrently with the MA medical leave, with the understanding that under state law, you cannot be allowed less than 8 weeks medical leave. I can explain this much better in person - I have a great visual aid for it. It's a bit more difficult on a message board.
                  Okay, in defense of us CA employers, can I get an apology from all who say CA pregnancy leave is difficult to understand?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by HR/DisMgr View Post
                    Okay, in defense of us CA employers, can I get an apology from all who say CA pregnancy leave is difficult to understand?

                    Not from me, you can't. I've given up. I'll let you, Betty3 and Endeavor answer those questions.
                    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      No worries--good to know if I lose my job here (unlikley!) that I have transferable job skills of deciphering the interaction of FMLA/CFRA/PDL/SDI/PFL!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by HR/DisMgr View Post
                        No worries--good to know if I lose my job here (unlikley!) that I have transferable job skills of deciphering the interaction of FMLA/CFRA/PDL/SDI/PFL!
                        I can see the resume now.
                        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Betty, you're right - I meant to say, available.

                          The CA pregnancy laws are enormously more complex than the MA laws, which are really fairly straightforward. I just personally find them easier to explain in person than in writing.
                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Okay, so if my disability gets denied, but my doctor says that I am physically unable to work, FMLA will cover me starting whenever I am put on "bedrest"? And the conversation above confused me, is FMLA payable or not?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              When you are *medically unable to work,* you can take FMLA leave. You need medical documentation (certification) for the leave from your doctor (a health care provider). FMLA can be taken on an intermittent schedule when applicable (subject to medical documentation/certification) rather than all at once.

                              FMLA is up to 12 weeks of *unpaid* job protected leave.

                              STD is what pays you while you are on leave after you medically qualify for the STD.
                              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

                              Working...
                              X