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Is a personal leave of absence protected? Utah

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  • Is a personal leave of absence protected? Utah

    I was approved for a 30 day personal leave of absence, and was terminated two weeks into it for job abandonment. Is this legal?

  • #2
    A personal leave is not job protected. Company policy may provide for such leave; but this is not required by law. If you are covered by an collective bargaining agreement, the agreement may provide for said leave.

    You may be thinking of FMLA.

    This link provides information about FMLA: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/benefits-leave/fmla.htm.

    Excerpts from DOL web-site:
    The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave.

    The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides an entitlement of up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave during any 12-month period to eligible, covered employees for the following reasons: 1) birth and care of the eligible employee's child, or placement for adoption or foster care of a child with the employee; 2) care of an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent) who has a serious health condition; or 3) care of the employee's own serious health condition. It also requires that employee's group health benefits be maintained during the leave. The FMLA is administered by the Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Division within the U.S. Department of Labor.

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    • #3
      So, even though a company provides written documentation saying you can be out for 30 days, they can terminate you for job abandonment? Isn't that sort of like them setting you up to be fired?

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      • #4
        Kind of... but it was never protected leave.

        Therefore, if there was a change in business or something, you would have been the first to go.

        This is the risk you take when you take a leave.

        What was the leave for? Was anyone sick or something?
        Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

        I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

        Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

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        • #5
          Yeah, I had some heart problems, and ulcer related issues, I didn't qualify for FMLA, I hadn't been there long enough, so took a personal leave.

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          • #6
            FMLA is a form of job protection. Since you did not qualify, your leave was not "protected." I agree that it sounds a bit fishy to be terminated for job abandonment while on an approved leave. All things being equal, your termination was not unlawful. The reason given may not be accurate; but the termination in itself would be ok.

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            • #7
              Would this qualify me, or disqualify me for unemployment?

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              • #8
                One of the qualifiers for unemployment is that you are able to work and actively seeking work. If you are on doctor's orders to NOT work, my educated guess is that benefits would be initially denied.

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