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FMLA QUALIFICATION REGARDING FURLOUGH Pennsylvania

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  • FMLA QUALIFICATION REGARDING FURLOUGH Pennsylvania

    I have 2 questions. My wife currently is going through a serious illness. Which will require neurosurgery. Her one year anniversary at her employer is Nov.30.She is on furlough until Dec 7. Are her days on furlough counted towards her 1 yr. for FMLA?
    My 2nd question is. She stopped by last week to make her first payment for COBRA.
    She stated she was on her way to an appt. regarding her illness. The benefits director told her if she did not pay her premium now she would not have coverage. She also made her sign a waiver declining coverage for her myself and children. I'm not totally versed on COBRA. But I do know that payment is not due when you enroll. She had recieved COBRA papers several days before. Is this legal? She is represented by the Teamsters union should I contact them.
    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    Although she is not *required* to make payment at the time of enrollment, the employer is not legally obligated to reinstate coverage until payment has been made. So it is true that she would not have coverage at the time of the visit, unless payment was made. It is also true that, once payment WAS made, coverage would have been reinstated retroactively.

    How was she forced to sign a waiver declining coverage? What kind of coverage?
    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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    • #3
      Hours worked for FMLA eligibility purposes are just that; not worked time, regardless of whether it is paid or unpaid, or at the behest of the employer, is not counted.
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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      • #4
        Here is the US DOL link on FMLA.

        http://www.dol.gov:80/dol/topic/benefits-leave/fmla.htm

        Her union contract could possibly offer additional/other protections.
        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
          However, I re-read your post and realized you appeared to be talking about the "one year of employment" and, as long as she is still considered employed (even if one inactive status due to furlough days), when she hits her one year anniversary, that would meet the time requirement.
          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
            Agree with your last statement Patty. I think that is what he meant also.
            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


            • #7
              Still considered an employee

              Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
              However, I re-read your post and realized you appeared to be talking about the "one year of employment" and, as long as she is still considered employed (even if one inactive status due to furlough days), when she hits her one year anniversary, that would meet the time requirement.
              Yes I was referring to the one year required for FMLA.

              They made her sign a waiver that myself as well as our children had denied COBRA.

              She is currently on STD.
              Last edited by laserweld; 10-31-2010, 07:16 PM.

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              • #8
                Okay, let me try again.

                How did they make her sign a waiver of coverage? Did they hold a gun to her head?
                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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                • #9
                  Originally posted by laserweld View Post
                  Yes I was referring to the one year required for FMLA.

                  They made her sign a waiver that myself as well as our children had denied COBRA.

                  She is currently on STD.
                  Was your wife planning on picking up Cobra for you and the children or only herself?

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                  • #10
                    All of us

                    We were going to pick-up COBRA for the family. But her furlough ends on Dec. 7th and her 1 year anniversary is Nov. 30th. So if I'm understandin she should be eligible for FMLA at that time. Then her employer will resume her coverage as it had been. With her paying her normal deduction.

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                    • #11
                      I feel like I'm pulling teeth here.

                      I'm going to ask one more time. How did they FORCE her to waive coverage?
                      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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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cbg View Post
                        I feel like I'm pulling teeth here.

                        I'm going to ask one more time. How did they FORCE her to waive coverage?
                        I am trying to figure out what benefit there is to the employer for the family not taking FMLA.

                        It seems like there is more to that part of the story.

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                        • #13
                          Said she would not have coverage

                          Originally posted by cbg View Post
                          I feel like I'm pulling teeth here.

                          I'm going to ask one more time. How did they FORCE her to waive coverage?
                          Sorry for the delay in answering. Here is what happened. My wife had an appt. for a surgical procedure to temporalily close her left eye. This is due to loss of control of eyelid from a brainstem stroke she had several weeks ago. The stroke is also why she is on furlough.

                          She stopped by the hr dept. on her way to the surgeon to drop off her COBRA paperwork. She stated that she was on her way to an appt. and asked if she would be covered? She was told the only way she would be covered is if she paid the premium at that time. Knowing at that moment we didn't have the funds (roughly $1500) she was told if she wanted to have coverage she could pay the premium for herself (roughly $780) and she would have to sign a waiver stating myself and our children had declined coverage. She was very worried about not having coverage for the appt. she was going to so she payed the premium for herself and signed the waiver. Being led to believe she had no other options.

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                          • #14
                            Thank you. That's what I was trying to find out.

                            Tell her to pick up the phone and call the US DOL to file a claim of COBRA violation.
                            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


                            • #15
                              I think one of things that was confusing us is that you used the word "furlough", which is normally used to indicate a very temporary lay-off, especially in government employment.

                              Best of luck to her in her surgery and recovery.
                              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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