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Odd Case - FMLA without Request

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  • Odd Case - FMLA without Request

    Without getting into full details as to the situation itself. I had some personal issues that arose back on April 9th. The result was 2 days with no call no shows. When I called my manager and spoke with our HR representative, a case had been opened with HR Corporate. Due to the details of my case it could constitute medical leave, if I would have opted to do so. I had until April 21st to call HR Corporate. However my medical case wasn't something I wanted on any record, so I chose not to call and assume termination would proceed after the 21st, since that's what the letter I received stated. I let three weeks pass by assuming I would have at some point received my final paychecks. When that time frame passed by and I hadn't received any letters or documentation, regarding suspension or termination thereafter, nor any paychecks at that, I decided to call HR Corporate on May 9th. As I proceeded to speak to the gentleman that took my call, I simply asked him if he could open my file anything that might be on record as to my status. He immediately told me I was approved for a Leave of Absence and that a packet was being sent to my home that exact same day with further instructions. That confused me, because I never requested it, and to add to that, I called HR Corporate today, to find out who requested it and who approved it, they were confused to, and so now I have to wait until next week for a response. One thing that was certain was that apparently my request and approval for LOA was done on the day that gentlemen told me I had been approved without my request.

    Why would they do this, without my request or approval?
    Not that I really prefer termination as the option, but my medical case was not something I wanted to publish.
    I've been out of work for approximately a month, actively searching for work, but I could have been collecting unemployment during this timeframe plus would have received my final paychecks by now.
    If they try to go back and casually remove the LOA now, can they just terminate me even though they've made these errors. It's been three weeks since they should have pursued termination, but held off for who knows what reason, I never received any other documentation between April 21st and May 11th.

    Has the approach they've taken been unlawful? How should I pursue this?

    Thanks

  • #2
    Putting you on a leave of absence is not the same thing as putting your medical condition on record. If your employer knows that you have a condition that qualifies under FMLA, they are required by law to offer you FMLA protections and are prohibited by law from terming you for the absence. While your failure to provide them with medical verification would probably have protected them from any liability, they evidently chose to err on the side of caution, which is most decidedly NOT illegal.
    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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