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Leave of Absence due to disability Illinois

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  • Leave of Absence due to disability Illinois

    Hi there....I am hoping for an answer. I have Multiple Sclerosis and have only worked for my company for a short time (4 months) as an administrative assistant. My job function is mainly typing documents, spreadsheets, etc. and setting up meetings.

    I recently suffered a bad relapse and have numbness and weakness in both legs, severe vertigo, fatigue, vision problems and some paralysis in my left hand. I have a hard time standing and walking right now as well as blurred vision. My neurologist does not know if this will be permanent or if it will go away with time. MS is very volatile and unpredictable and simply put there is no way to know if I can work again. I have provided my employer medical documentation from my doctor stating my condition and stating I should be on Short term disability.

    Today, I received a letter and forms from my employer. The letter stated I am not eligible for FMLA (which I knew already), but that I am eligible for short term disability.
    The forms are a leave of absence request and a physician statement for my doctor to fill out. Though I am not eligible for FMLA, the documents they sent me are DOL Family and Medical Leave Act forms. This seemed odd to me. I don't know if they are trying to get rid of me (tho I am sure they want to).

    My question is, can my employer fire me or not pay me short term disability because I do not meet FMLA requirements or am I covered under the ADA? Can they refuse my request for leave? Can they fire me for excessive absences? I should also say that they did in fact start paying me for my short term disability....

    Any help would be appreciated!

    Jackie

  • #2
    Jackie, given your presently unable to work, the only requirement your employer is required to make under ADA is that they must allow you paid or unpaid leave for necessary treatments, which they are doing. If and when you're able to return, you should advise your employer of any reasonable accommodations you may need and discuss how this can be accomplished so you can perform your work functions. Often employers are very willing to make accommodations if they're aware of them ahead of time. This allows the employer time to plan and coordinate the most workable solution for everyone.

    With regard to their sending you FMLA forms, contact your employer and ask if you must complete them since you are ineligible for FML. It's not often that HR deliberately sends an incorrect form in hopes of, terminating you on a technicality....chances are it was strictly an oversight on their parts. If it's like my HR Department, the forms are already collated and ready to be placed in a packet of information.

    If you haven't already visited this site, you may want to go to www.nationalmssociety.org. This site may be able to provide you further enlightenment concerning your medical condition and your rights to reasonable accommodation.

    Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you

      So much for the info!

      Jackie

      Comment


      • #4
        I suspect that your employer may have given you the FMLA form just to have some sort of standardized documentation of your condition. I don't use the DOL form here but rather created a one page form with essentially the same info. Informally the form is referred to as the FMLA form, as that is often that it is used for but it is also given to those who do not qualify. In any case, filling out the form neither entitles you to FMLA nor would I think it grounds for termination as you do not qualify. If you are confused call your HR department and ask.

        You should also ask your employer about your time off. While short term leaves may be reasonable under ADA, open ended or long term ones are generally not. There are many factors to consider including how essential your position is and how long you anticipate being out. I realise it isn't like being out for surgery which doctors can usually predict a recovery time for, but your doctor should be able to ball park it even if its just to say it will be at least a month. You will need to talk to your employer about how long they can hold your job and keep you on as an employee. STD is not the same as leave from your employer.
        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.

        Comment

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