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Forced to do FMLA Pennsylvania

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  • Forced to do FMLA Pennsylvania

    Asking this on behalf of my mom.

    My mom was recently put into a brace for problems related to her elbow. She has had a history of problems in this arm and surgery before. Her Dr. wrote her a note stating that her work activities should be restricted. She should not lift anything more than 5lbs and avoid repetitive wrist movements (like typing or extensive writing) for 4 weeks, however the Dr. said she could work if adhereing to the restrictions.

    My mom's job is mostly clerical work that involves a lot of typing, but there is plenty of other activities that she can do and has been doing while on "light duty". Today, her employer told her that she is not to report to work for the next 4 weeks until she is cleared by the Dr to resume normal activities. As a result, she will be forced to go on FMLA and use all of her accured sick and vacation time, then go on leave without pay.

    The employer claims that they are only concerned about my mom's health and that this is not a concern over her productivity. My mom feels that the employer's motives are less than altruistic and they are simply looking to avoid having to pay for surgery under workman's comp if she aggrivates the injury over the next 4 weeks.

    Can the employer require my mom to take FMLA and stay home from work when the Dr. clearly stated that it was fine for her to continue working within the specified restirctions?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • #2
    If the employer does not want to offer (or does not have) full-time light duty, that's their choice. They are not required by law to allow her to work "light duty" and it is perfectly legal for them to require a doctor's release for full duty before they allow her to return to work. If the employee and medical condition qualify, the employer must designate the leave as FMLA; it's the failure to do so that is the violation of the Act.
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