Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Employer will not take MD notes anymore! California

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

  • Employer will not take MD notes anymore! California

    My employer has decided to stop taking notes from all the people that have "restrictions". In the beginning it was just me that had a note restricting me to work 3 days a week. This is due to mental stress, breakdowns, panic attacks. My doctor felt that since this company can write you up even if you have sick time when you call in sick, it was best for me to work 3 days a week. I've had this note for 2 years. I've worked there 5 years. Fast forward to now, and people started getting jealous of me for working 3 days a week. People started getting notes requiring them to sit for 4 hours, stand for 4 hours, others got notes to work 3 days a week. Our job is one where we can never sit down. We must stand the whole 8 hours, or whatever hours you work that day. HR called a meeting because a lot of people went out on disability leave, people quit, people transferred, plus they had to "accomodate" 15 other people with various doctors notes. In HR they stated that they WILL NOT accomodate me anymore. I threatened to file a grievance, or get a labor lawyer. They asked me how long will my notes go on. They asked will they go on forever? I did not answer. The would have went on forever. I screamed, cried. The evil HR people let me compose myself while I left the room. The union rep said I can't file a grivance, I can't get a lawyer (I fear if I get a labor lawyer, I will be fired for suing the company). The said I either work 5 days a week, or go on a 90 mandatory leave of absence, or clear it up with my MD. The same day I got a note from my MD releasing me to work 5 days a week. I feel it's unfair. They only called this meeting because they got too many MD notes from people, and they were understaffed. I wanted to go to school. They don't accomodate school anymore either. They say do it on your own time, while working 40 hours a week. (That's not going to happen with me. I can't juggle a busy life like some people) I'm livid over this. My 5 day a week thing starts next week. I was in a mental institution for a month this year. I was on stress leave from work for 3 earlier this year. I have no plans to quit this job. I'm looking for advice if this is legal.

    There is a girl at work that said I can file FMLA, and call out sick whenever I want, and the company can't fire me or write me up, with FMLA protection, but I undersand I must have sick time to do that. I have 0 hours of sick time because of my leave ealrier this year used it up. I filed for FMLA this year, but since I worked 3 days a week I didn't qualify for "enough hours." I worked 1186 hours last year, and it wasn't enough. I don't know how many hours CA wants you to have? I think it's 1300 to have FMLA. If someone would be kind enough to read this and advise me of my rights, and tell me that my 3 day a week note can be thrown out like that. The manager says "they can't accomodate this note anymore." They had 15 other meetings with my fellow employees, so it wasn't just me. I feel singled out and angry that everyone turning in notes ruined it for me.

  • #2
    A doctor note is only legally meaningful in the context of a specific law such as FM.A. The employer is only required to pay attention to doctor's notes to the extent that an actual law such as FMLA says that they have to.

    FMLA has nothing what-so-ever to do with paid sick leave.

    I am going to suggest that you read the following and get up to speed on the actual rules associated with FMLA. This particular document is from the federal DOL website, the people who actually are responsible for enforcing FMLA and I would assume that DOL knows what they are talking about.
    http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/1421.htm

    The ADA (Americans with Disability Act) is also perhaps a possibility. But absent a specific requirement in FMLA, ADA or a similar law, a doctor note is not a legal requirement on an employer. It is just a piece of paper.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

    Comment


    • #3
      If ALL of the following are true:

      1.) You have worked for this employer for no less than 12 months
      2.) Your employer has no less than 50 employees within a 75 miles radius of your location
      3.) You have worked no less than 1,250 hours in the 12 months immediately preceding your leave
      4.) You or a qualified beneficiary have/has a serious health condition as defined in the FMLA statute (http://www.dol.gov/whd/opinion/FMLA/...02/FMLA-87.htm)

      then FMLA applies and you are entitled to up to 12 weeks of protected medical leave within a 12 month period. WHEN POSSIBLE (and we understand that is is not always possible) you need to give your employer as much notice as possible. When not possible, you still need to follow your employer's call in procedures. You CAN be required to provide medical verification that you have such a condition; your employer CAN require recertification every 30 days; FMLA leave can ONLY be taken for the condition that has been certified. If you have more than one condition, you need more than one certification, but you do NOT get additional protected time off in this case. Regardless of whether you have one condition or a dozen conditions certified, you get 12 weeks and not a single day more. On week 13, day 1 if you are not at work you can legally be fired no matter how many doctor's notes you can provide.

      This is Federal law and applies in all states. CA has no laws, other than for pregnancy, giving you additional time or allowing you protected time for less than the criteria 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


      • #4
        The OP "might" not have enough hrs. for FMLA working only 3 days a week &
        the time already taken off this year.
        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


        • #5
          The answer I'm really looking for has nothing to do with FMLA. I'll apply for that later, when I build enough hours. What I'm looking for is about the 3 day a week note? Can the manager legally disregard it and put me to work 5 days a week, even though it's a valid MD note. Can they go against the note? They never gave me trouble for the 2 years I turned it in, and I was never on FMLA (always 60 hrs short of qualifying). It's only because everyone at work caught on to what I was doing, and everyone started turning in notes like mine, and apparently they put a stop to it.

          Comment


          • #6
            That's the whole point. Outside of FMLA, a doctor's note has no force in law. Therefore, outside of FMLA yes, the employer can legally disregard it and put you to work 5 days a week.
            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
              Agree/concur with cbg. It seems they were getting too many notes from employees
              to make accommodations any more.
              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


              • #8
                Now, all that being said, IF you have a condition that meets the definition of a disability (and in your state the definition is more generous than the Federal definition) and your doctor will confirm that, they will have to provide AN accomodation that will allow you to perform the essential functions of your job. However, it does not have to be the accomodation you want; it does not have to be the accomodation that your doctor recommends; and they do not have to defend or support the decision as to what accomodation they offer. It only has to be an accomodation that works.
                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


                • #9
                  However, it is my understanding (or does it no longer apply) that the employer
                  does not have to provide any accommodation if there is none that will work or if
                  it would make an undue hardship on the employer.
                  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


                  • #10
                    They never have to accommodate you going to school. Your employer is 100% correct that if you are seeking a 3 day week because you can't juggle work and school, that is your issue not theirs. Since your doctor indicates you can work 5 days a week, that is what can be expected. If your doctor still indicated that due to a bonafide disability, you required accommodation, then yes, they had a duty to work with you to find a reasonable accommodation.

                    A 2 year old note stating that you can only work 3 days a week is woefully inadequate and they are absolutely correct in requesting updated documentation as well as additional documentation as to what your medical restrictions are, not just what your doctor feels they ought to do about it.

                    You are correct that you do not qualify for FMLA, but I would caution you that your friend who advised you that FMLA is essentially a "get out of work free card" is not correct. Since it doesn't apply here, there is no need to get into the details of that.
                    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


                    • #11
                      Per Ca. Dept. of Fair Employment & Housing

                      The Fair Employment and Housing Act

                      (FEHA), enforced by the California Department

                      of Fair Employment and Housing

                      (DFEH), prohibits employment discrimination

                      and harassment based on a personís

                      disability or perceived disability. It also requires

                      employers to reasonably accommodate

                      individuals with mental or physical disabilities

                      unless the employer can show that to do

                      so would cause an undue hardship.

                      The law covers mental or physical disabilities

                      (including AIDS/HIV), regardless of whether

                      the conditions are presently disabling. It also

                      covers medical conditions, which are defined

                      as either cancer or genetic characteristics.

                      Disability does not include sexual behavior

                      disorders, compulsive gambling, kleptomania,

                      pyromania, or psychoactive substance abuse

                      disorders resulting from the current illegal

                      use of drugs.
                      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
                        It wasn't a 2 year old note. I've been giving notes for 2 years, but I've gave them a new note every 2-3 months. I don't agree that this job says we a part time if we work 0-39 hours. Does anyone agree that it doesn't make sense? 39 hours and still part time? How?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          With state specific exceptions in only two states that I know of (neither of them CA) what is full time and what is part time is up to the employer. It is very, very, very common (and absolutely legal barring a state law that says otherwise) for anything less than 40 hours a week to be considered part time.
                          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
                            Regardless an accommodation is not forever. By your own admission it was difficult to get coverage with you working only 3 days a week so they asked for updated information. Your doctor stated you could work 5 days. Why on earth would your employer then keep you only working 3? It does call into question how valid those notes stating you could only work 3 days a week are, particularly if you are medically able to attend school as well. Remember that your employer never has to accommodate your school schedule, only what is medically necessary for you to perform the duties and functions of the job you were hired to perform.

                            Even if a reduced schedule was once feasible, if it is causing problems for the employer or requires them to need to hire additional staff to cover your job, it is no longer reasonable under ADA. If your doctor indicates that you are medically capable of working 5 days a week, then that is what your employer can expect. Second guessing the doctor and assuming you are really too disabled to work 5 days and only scheduling you for 3 would actually be a violation of the law. They acted exactly as they should have in this case.
                            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

                            Working...
                            X