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FMLA Issues Maryland

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  • FMLA Issues Maryland

    My employment does not have sick time and we are unionized. If we go off sick, we continue being paid our normal salary. If we do require going off sick we must report to an infirmary that is paid for by my employer. If you are off for more then 3 days consecutively, the employer automatically deems the illness as FMLA and all days off count towards your 12 week FMLA. My question is... Is it considered harassment and/or interference if the employer continues to order you to report to the infirmary every 2-4 weeks so that the infirmary can find out your status and return to work date?

  • #2
    Generally the employer can't require FMLA to be re-certified that often unless your need changes. But part of the issue's cloudiness is what do you mean by "report to the infirmary to find out the status and return date". Employers can require the employee periodically check into them for an update on their condition as long as they do so for other leaves (including non-FMLA ones) and when they think that they might return. And they could use the infirmary to perform that task. In many companies, HR would be who the employee would contact periodically.

    So I guess my question is this -- what exactly is happening at the status report?

    You might reference DOL FLMA Factsheet 28 E : "An employer may require that an employee provide reasonable notice to the employer if the need for FMLA leave changes while the employee is out on FMLA leave. For example, the employer may require that the employee notify the employer if the employee’s doctor determines that he or she can return to work earlier than expected or if his or her return to work will be delayed. The employer may also require that the employee provide periodic updates on his or her status and intent to return to the job." https://www.dol.gov/.../whdfs28e.pdf

    And I will say, just so you know that most FMLA timeoff is unpaid after an employee runs out of any paid timeoff. So before you cry foul too loudly and get too upset about periodic updates, just realize that the employer has "given" something that is not required and is asking something that probably fits the reference above.

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    • #3
      I agree in reference to the employer giving something that is not required but that is actually the requirement according to the City Charter. As for the term, reporting to the infirmary...we are employed in the area of public safety. We are required every 2 weeks or so, to get dressed in uniform and go to the infirmary for the employers doctor. After sitting in the infirmary waiting for approximately 2 hours or so we are called back and the doctor asks us what our status is and what our personal doctor is saying regarding return to work date or treatment plan. After we tell them, the doctor then says come back again in 2 weeks and the cycle starts all over until we are finally placed back to full duty.

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      • #4
        Are these for work related illnesses or injuries? Or any absence? I can't imagine in all cases someone in need of leave for surgery recovery or cancer treatment is even able to report to the infirmary every 2 weeks. Is this procedure in your union agreement? It isn't an obvious FMLA violation but it is unusual. Is this in Baltimore? That is the only public safety infirmary I know of in MD, but I'll grant you there may be others.
        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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        • #5
          It is required at any time we have to go home sick with any LOD or non-LOD illness or injury. Also it is required that you report to the infirmary every 2 weeks or so for every illness or injury in which you are required to be off of work. For me it becomes a hassle because it is a one way trip of 1 1/2 hour drive to the infirmary. For instance, I recently had surgery on my hand in which my orthopedic surgeon stated I was to be off duty for 8 weeks. Every 2 weeks since my surgery I have had to drive to the infirmary and be seen by my employers doctor, who not once looked at my hand, but just asked if everything was still going as planned.
          Last edited by dsblizzard; 10-28-2015, 07:46 AM.

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          • #6
            It is strange, and a huge waste of money and tax dollars but not against any law per se. I would be taking it up with the union.
            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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