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Still Can't work post-FMLA...Can she get unemployment? Wisconsin

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  • Still Can't work post-FMLA...Can she get unemployment? Wisconsin

    My Mom had knee replacement surgery at the end of May and now her employer is demanding she return to work since her FMLA has run out. She started
    FMLA before the surgery because her knee was so weak her doctor worried about her leg collapsing.
    She works in a factory where her job requires her to stand with minimal breaks and she must also climb ladders/lift heavy things/kneel/etc... Her doctor and her are worried that she will not be able to work a full 8 hour day. She has asked her employer for accomodations but they have only agreed to let her not kneel. She's worried she doesn't fit under the ADA because it's temporary (e.g. she should regain full use of the knee over time). So far she hasn't gone back to work for two weeks after FMLA ran out and her employer has been giving her "points" that will lead to her being fired if she gets three more. She's really scared and confused about what to do.
    Should she get her doctor to say she can work and then show up and can't do it? This is her current strategy because she's afraid that if the doctor says she has restrictions and can't do her job that not only will she get fired, but she won't get unemployment either.
    Is this true?
    The other option is to take her doctor's advice and tell them she needs more time and then they suspend her leading up to firing her. If this happens can she make a successful claim for unemployment insurance?

    I read on another thread that she will be denied unemployment insurance initially, but that once she is able to work again she will be able to successfully apply for unemployment. Is that true?

    Your advice would be really appreciated--she's really scared right now and has very little savings to fall back on.

    Thanks!
    Jackie

  • #2
    I read on another thread that she will be denied unemployment insurance initially, but that once she is able to work again she will be able to successfully apply for unemployment. Is that true?

    Yes.

    Since she is unable to work currently, she will not be eligible for UI. To receive UI in most if not all states, you must be able to work, actively looking for work, and available to accept work if offered.

    But, once she is cleared for work, since she lost her job through no fault of her own, there's no reason she wouldn't become eligible at that time.

    BTW, not your question but just so you know, once her FMLA expires her employer has no legal obligation to hold her job.
    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
      Thanks

      Thanks for the information! You really helped to set our minds at ease!
      Jackie

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