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Terminally Sick InLaw, refused time off Utah

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  • Terminally Sick InLaw, refused time off Utah

    My father in law was taken to the hospital yesterday morning, and I called in sick explaining why. Since yesterday morning they have found a mass in his brain, they were going to operate to get some of it, but have also found it to be inoperable. They have given him 3 day to 3 weeks to live. I tried to call in and ask for a few days off, and I was told that no one could cover my shift and that I absolutely had to work. I thought in emergencies they had to allow you some time off. I wasn't asking for weeks, everyone else in my family is a couple hours away in Provo, and I just want to be there with my father in law and the rest of my family.

    Currently I have been with my employer about 8 months working full time 40 hour weeks, but within the past 7 years I have been with them for almost 4 years, again working full time 40 hour weeks.

    Thank you in advance for any information.
    Last edited by TortisVamp; 08-03-2012, 06:30 AM. Reason: added pertinent information

  • #2
    I'm sorry, but there is no law that requires that you be given time off for emergencies.

    What you may be thinking of is the Family Medical Leave Act, which requires eligible employers to provide eligible employees with time off for their own medical conditions or those of an eligible family member. However, while we don't know if your employer is required to provide FMLA or whether you are eligible for it if we do, we do know that in-laws are NOT eligible family members. Your spouse would be eligible for FMLA leave (assuming that he and his employer both meet the defintions) since it would be his father, but not you because in-laws are not only not covered, but on the fact sheet the DOL provides are specifically excluded.

    Hopefully your employer's staffing issues will resolve and you will be able to take some time before your father in law's passing. I'm sorry for your loss and that of your family.
    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
      Agree. I'm sorry about your father-in-law. However, your employer is not required to give you time off for emergencies. Even under job protected FMLA leave if you & your employer qualified otherwise, as cbg noted, it doesn't cover time off for an in-law's serious health condition.

      Sorry.
      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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      • #4
        How many employees does your employer have within 75 miles of your location? Just to touch all the bases.
        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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        • #5
          I know the limit is 50, and they may have just a few under, or just a few over. I am also probably right at the 1250 hours in the last year, maybe a little under. The fun part of it right now is we're having a couple documents faxed over to them, because as I've been told today, everyone thinks I'm lying. Rethinking a lot of things right now, having my eyes opened quite a bit.

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          • #6
            It doesn't really matter, because as already indicated, in-laws are not eligible family members for FMLA leave. But if they have under the statutory 50 employees FMLA doesn't apply; if you don't have the 1,250 hours, FMLA does not apply.

            It's a shame that the circumstances are not different and they could see their way clear to allowing you to take time off, but based on what you have said they are on very firm legal ground in refusing it.
            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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            • #7
              Why are you faxing documents over to them if FMLA doesn't apply to in-laws? (unless they might reconsider giving you time off if they have proof of how ill your father-in-law is) They don't have to allow you time off if FMLA doesn't apply.
              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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              • #8
                Before going off the deep end, consider that your employer might be willing to work with you to take time off even though they aren't legally obligated but it is always difficult to allow someone to take off unexpectedly when there isn't a substitute. If it were your parent and FMLA applied, they would have to allow you to take off but being as that is not the case, it could just be that they needed you that day. I realize you are stressed and just got some bad news but you have to see it from their point of view as well.

                I also wouldn't put too much stock in the theory that they believe you are lying just yet. I'm not sure who told you that, but unless there is a whole lot more to the story, odds are it is either an exaggeration, misunderstanding or someone's speculation. Asking for proof of the medical condition is not evidence anyone thinks you are lying. Most employers require that as a matter of practice. "Everyone" can barely agree that the sun rises each morning let alone that one particular person is or is not telling the truth.
                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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