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Thread: FMLA runs out during STD leave... am I still protected? I'm so worried! Tennessee

  1. #1
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    Default FMLA runs out during STD leave... am I still protected? I'm so worried! Tennessee

    I'm on STD right now until I go to the Mayo Clinic in March. My adjuster says that my FMLA runs concurrent with my STD and my FMLA runs out on Feb 18th since I've had this condition since the first of June last year and had to take many days of FMLA already (in an effort to not have to go out on complete STD) Well last week my condition has worsened bc I work so much and my job is very stressful. My family has urged me to take off until my appointment with Mayo Clinic. My adjuster said that I have STD for as long as 10 weeks.... yet my FMLA might run out. Does this mean I am not safe when it comes to work? I'm so scared right now and don't want to lose my job b/c I'm out on disability. I have worked there for 3 years and I love it. I would be there this moment working if I wasn't practically disabled. Can anyone shed light on this?? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    STD is not leave; it is how you get paid while you are on leave. As you already know, STD and FMLA can and do run concurrently.

    FMLA provides job protection. STD does not. Once your FMLA runs out, you no longer have job protection under the law. No matter how long your STD may have been approved for. No FMLA or state equivalent, no job protection.

    However, just because your employer CAN legally fire you if you are unable to return to work on week 13, day 1, regardless of your STD status, that doesn't mean he WILL. Many employers voluntarily permit a longer leave even though they are not required to by law.

    You need to find out from your employer what options they are willing to provide.

  3. #3
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    CBG, thank you so much for responding so quickly! I got a call from my adjuster basically saying the same thing that you did. That just because they legally CAN doesn't mean that they legally will. My supervisor is aware of my condition and has been for the past year. She is pretty supportive and asks me how I'm feeling and I keep her updated often. Even though, by law, I don't even have to do that and she doesn't have to care either. I guess I'm just worried my job won't be there. Or they will get tired of waiting on me. You know? What would be more beneficial for them? Hiring someone new or just giving me that extra few weeks? I don't know either way. It takes so long for my company to train someone to do my position. I just get terrified b/c I love my job so much and don't want to lose it.

  4. #4
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    Since I don't know your employer or the job you do, I can only give you generalities. But IN GENERAL, if we're only talking about a matter of a few weeks, it is more cost effective for the company to wait for you to be medically released than to go to the expense of hiring another employee and bringing her up to speed. If you're going to be out longer than that, the answer might change.

    But only your employer can give you a hard and fast answer.

  5. #5
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    It's possible you "might" also qualify for some additional time off as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.
    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

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