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Returned to work after a short term disability, job not restored - RI

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  • Returned to work after a short term disability, job not restored - RI

    Hello - I believe I might be dealing with a violation of either the ADA or Short term disability regulations/guidelines. Here is some background:

    I was out on an injury suffered at home from ~ 7/9 and returned 8/15, well before the expiration of the FMLA guidelines for RI (13 weeks). While I was hospitalized, my staff of six was redirected to report directly to my boss until I returned and I was firmly instructed NOT to get involved with the daily work activities. The injury was to my right leg/ankle and I would not be able to walk until late Dec. The doctor approved my return to work on 8/15, for my position is an office job/mid-level management and the injury does not hamper my ability to conduct my duties in any way.

    Initially I was told to work from home for a few weeks on 'special projects' and was giving a long list, ostensibly to choose from. Meanwhile, I worked hard to return physically to work just before the end of August (1st car pooling, then adaptive controls added to my vehicle, an extra wheelchair left at the office, etc).
    I was told recently, however, that I would not be returned to full status until I completed all the projects! So my staff still does not report to me and I cannot be involved in daily decisioning regarding my function. In the meantime, the 'project list' has been expanded.
    Isn't this a violation of my rights to return to full status after a short term disability? While I am still receiving full pay, these extra conditions and the fact they continue to change are an encumbrance to my full re-instatement of my position. Is this just an ethical issue or is this also a legal infraction in RI? My position's duties have changed dramatically just because I was injured?

    I appreciate whatever opinion you have and any reference material you may be able to direct me to.

    thanks!

  • #2
    You mention FMLA, but, just to be clear, do you and your employer qualify for FMLA?
    Please no private messages about your situation.

    Comment


    • #3
      Returned to work after a short term disability, job not restored - RI Reply to Thread

      Yes, I was approved by the company for short term disability leave for a medical condition, which I assume was governed by the FMLA. I am compliant given any hours of service restriction (worked over 6 months in the given fiscal year, and 17 yrs beyond that), also had no other prior leave in the same year and appropriate notice (completion of the application) was provided well within company guidelines.

      Comment


      • #4
        Short term disability and FMLA are NOT the same thing and the same eligibility does not apply. It is possible to be approved for STD without being eligible for FMLA.

        For FMLA to apply, ALL of the following must be true:

        1.) Your employer has 50 or more employees within 75 miles of your location
        2.) You must have worked for this employer for no less than 12 months
        3.) In the 12 months immediately preceding your leave, you have worked no less than 1,250 hours

        For the state version to apply, your employer must have 50 or more employees and you must have worked an average of 30 hours per week for at least 12 months.

        STD is not leave time; it is income replacement while you are on leave.
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          Returned to work after a short term disability, job not restored - RI

          I understand they are two different things, however, yes, all those conditions apply for this large firm and my long tenure there:

          1) over 15 yrs of work with the employer, including over 1,250 hrs in the preceding 12 months
          2) a private-sector employer with well over 500 employees within 75 miles of my office's location over 20 workweeks in the preceding year and engaged in commerce
          3) I work well over 40+ hrs a week, fully salaried

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by almatike View Post
            I understand they are two different things, however, yes, all those conditions apply for this large firm and my long tenure there:

            1) over 15 yrs of work with the employer, including over 1,250 hrs in the preceding 12 months
            2) a private-sector employer with well over 500 employees within 75 miles of my office's location over 20 workweeks in the preceding year and engaged in commerce
            3) I work well over 40+ hrs a week, fully salaried
            Your employer, as soon as they realized that you likely qualified for FMLA, was required to "offer" it to you. You may want to give HR a call.
            Please no private messages about your situation.

            Comment

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