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Thread: Disability Stress Leave vs. FMLA California

  1. #1

    Exclamation Disability Stress Leave vs. FMLA California

    Is there a difference in benefits? In my research FMLA means I need to use my company accrued vacation & sick day benefits. I have been an exceptional employee for 6+ years for a large corporation and have recently discovered some previous & recent fraudulant contracted agreements with my job & compensation. I am in the process of seeking legal recourse against my company. It has caused extreme emotional, mental, & physical stress & strain. I have sought out a therapist who along with my medical doctor have both suggested I need to take time off. I would rather not use my vacation days. Where can I find specific information on how to file for Disability Stress Leave due to work relations and what the difference between benefits are????? Or can someone please spell out for me the difference and give guidance on how to file for either. Should I leave it up to my attorney - who was referred to me by a client but I don't really know, and at this point don't know who to trust. HELP.....

  2. #2
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    FMLA is, in and of itself, unpaid leave. Your employer may, however, require that you use any paid time off you have in conjunction with your FMLA leave and this makes good business sense. Otherwise, you could be off work (unpaid) up to 12 weeks and then still have vacation and sick time you could take in that same year; that's a lot of time to have an employee out of work.

    Disability is income replacement while you are on leave, not the leave itself.
    If your doctor certifies your medical need for leave, then you would file for state disability benefits. There is no such thing as, specifically, "stress leave" for "work relations" or any other reason. The medical necessity for the leave is the critical factor. Has your doctor recommended a leave?

  3. #3
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    There is no such thing as disability stress leave. If you are off for a medical reason and otherwise qualify, it becomes FMLA. It may be paid or unpaid depending on your employer's requirements. If it is unpaid, then you may qualify for SDI which simply provides income. It isn't an automatic approval just because you are off, as there are different requirements to receive SDI as to qualify for FMLA.

    A lot depends on what your doctor's recommendation is. If he just says a few days away would be beneficial, that is not FMLA nor would it qualify for SDI. If your doctor says that you need to be off while treating for your stress, depression, whatever, then it very well might qualify for one or both.

    You can find more here http://www.dpa.ca.gov/textdocs/freep...L2006012_A.DOC
    http://www.edd.ca.gov/direp/diind.htm

  4. #4
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    SDI has a 1 week waiting period anyway, so you will have to use some sick or vacation pay. If the situation at work is that bad, I recommend using up as many sick days as possible- the pay is better than SDI and you won't get those when you leave this job.
    Megan E. Ross, Esq.
    Law Offices of Michael Tracy
    http://www.gotovertime.com

    Disclaimer: The above response is a general statement of the law and should not be relied upon as legal advice. It only assumes the facts that are stated in the message. The above response does not serve to form an attorney-client relationship.

  5. #5

    Exclamation Disability & FMLA

    Yes, my doctor has highly recommended that I take at least a month off. My condition has worsened and he has recommended an MRI & to see a neurologist as well as medication to alleviate the anxiety, depression, and numbing in my arm. Understanding there is a one week wait before SDI becomes effective, how do I notify my company of my desire to take the time off? I have 4 sick days & 2 personal days left. Am I eligible to use these days for the one week wait period? As my human resources department has been less than helpful in the past, I don't know what my rights are nor how to go about starting the process. How can I figure out what SDI income will be vs. using my 15 vacation days with FMLA?

  6. #6
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    Well as I see it you may also want to file for workers compensation. Since there is a medical history of your situation - you already have gone and met one threshold area. Second, you may also be able to file a penalty petition against your employer if there is a "General Busisness Practice" of not reporting claims. Has you employer seen any medical reports or just disability slips from any of your doctors ? Have you also elected NOT be covered under your employers workers compensation insurance (state mandated), as addressed in Labor Code Section 4154 ?

    You may also have a 132a issue and other remedies. Depending on the facts of your case.

    Yes, I do workers compensation, but I would not be able to take your case because I am underpaid, overworked, and understaffed slave employee. I would suggest you go to your local workers compensation appeals board and seek the suggetions from the information and assistance officer in your area.

    If you do file a workers compensation case - you or your attorney have medical control as per adecision from the Long Beach Appeals Board. Robin Metoyer v Wilshire West Dental LBO 368875. That ruling has Zenith Insurance up in arms.

    Caution: There are alot of attorneys out there, I could recommed only a couple - they are the ones I would trust with my case if I had another case.

    Unfortunately, that is the sad truth. You may also wish to check out the following web site:

    votersinjuredatwork.org

    You would obtain alot of free information there also. You would also learn how Arnold really screwed the system up and how and why he does not desire to repair "his" latest round.

    If you can find an exclusion out of workers compensation - I would advise it and sue the hell out of your employer in the civil arena.
    That is my 10 cents today

  7. #7
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    While anyone can file a claim for WC, stress claims are very very tough to prove. It usually requires more than just the daily grind or an unpleasant environment. If the employee hasn't filed a report of the claim ,then the employer isn't liable for not filing it either. Employers are not required to have ESP.

    A civil case for intentional inlfiction of emotional distress also has a very high bar. Certainly if you are already working with a lawyer on these other issues causing you stress, then that person is probably already looking at that aspect as well.

  8. #8
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    Absolutely no referrals to specific attorneys on this board, please.

  9. #9
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    SDI is about 55% of your income. Talk to the company about taking the time off. Ask if you can use your sick and personal time for the first week, and then go to SDI. You will be protected under FMLA for the time (assuming you meet the requirements).
    Megan E. Ross, Esq.
    Law Offices of Michael Tracy
    http://www.gotovertime.com

    Disclaimer: The above response is a general statement of the law and should not be relied upon as legal advice. It only assumes the facts that are stated in the message. The above response does not serve to form an attorney-client relationship.

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