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Change in work status while on FML

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  • Change in work status while on FML

    I am out on Family Medical Leave until the week of Feb 9th following the birth of a child. Before going out on leave, I was a full time employee. In July of 2007 my company confirmed in writing that when I return from FML I would be a part-time employee. Two weeks ago my HR department informed me that my part-time status upon return needs to be re-approved and that I may need to return as a full time employee. They are supposed to let me know their decision sometime this week. Is this legal?

  • #2
    Have you worked for this employer for the last 12 months?
    Have you worked at least 1250 hours for them in the last 12 months?
    Does your employer have at least 50 employees within a 75 miles of your workplace?

    Am I understanding correctly - you were initially going to be made part time after your return at your own request, and you are upset that they may change their minds and insist that you come back as full time?

    Comment


    • #3
      When exactly did you go out on leave?

      What is the name of your state, please.

      Thanks.
      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

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

      Comment


      • #4
        And is this position going part-time? In other words, if the job would have been part-time at this point even if you had NOT been on FMLA, that is legal. But even so, I agree the timing does look suspicious.

        CarynG, the OP already stated she was on FMLA leave.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

        Comment


        • #5
          When did the FMLA leave begin? Were you working full-time or part-time immediately before you went on leave? Did you request to work part-time? Do you want to work on a full time basis or part-time?

          Comment


          • #6
            answers and documentation

            I live in MA. I went on FML/MA Maternity Leave (first 8 weeks) 11/14 and will be returning to work 90 days from that day (2/12/08). My position was a full-time position immediately before I went out on leave. I would like to be part-time when I return from FML. On May 11, 2007 I requested via a letter that I return part-time after the birth of my child. The director of my company and head of HR approved this in an email in July 07. When I spoke to my HR department on 11/15 there was no mention of my part-time status (upon return from FML) needing to be re-approved. On 12/28 the head of my HR department stated that she knew nothing about my part-time status being approved. I then showed her the email she wrote approving the part-time and she said well it would need to be re-approved and she would let me know the outcome in 2 and ½ weeks when she retuned from vacation.


            Below is a copy of a follow up email I sent to the head of HR after she told me over the phone that there would not be a problem with my part time return and her subsequent response approving the change in work status.



            >>> Sue 07/12/07 1:27 PM >>>
            Subject: part-time work status

            Hi XXXX,
            I wanted to thank you for your phone call yesterday. I appreciate you looking into the possibility of me becoming a part-time staff once I return from leave. I feel more confident of my request after disusing it with you and hearing that you do not think there will be a problem honoring this request. I look forward to receiving official confirmation (or not) of this request as soon as possible.
            Thank you again!
            Sarah

            Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2007 13:39:06 -0400

            Subject: Re: part-time work status
            Hi Sue,
            again please accept my apology for not having touched base with you sooner. I spoke with Tom (director of my company) about it yesterday and he is really fine with your request. His interest is always with what will work best for the employee, especially if it can happen without undue hardship on the program. You are a very valued member of the administration at the school and he knows this will work best for you which in turn can only be beneficial to the school.
            Please feel free to begin the planning for part time employment upon your return in the spring of 08.
            Please stay in touch with HR during your leave so we can be better able to accommodate the p/t status at the appropriate time as well as review the benefit changes that will occur and your options relative to this.
            take care
            XXXXX
            Human Resources Director

            Below is a copy of the letter in which I initially requested the change in status. Please note the letter states March 1, 2008 as the time I would return from leave. The baby was born early thus I will be retuning to work 2/12.

            May 11, 2007


            XXXXX


            Dear XXXXX,

            Re: Proposal for part-time

            I am proposing that effective March 1, 2008 my position be changed from full-time status (40 hours per week) to part-time status (27 hours per week) due to my impending motherhood.

            With a minimal reduction in my current caseload, I will be able to meet the needs of the clients, the sending school districts, and the XXXXX. Being an organized and dedicated individual, I feel that working part-time will not affect my productivity and that I will still be able to efficiently meet my job responsibilities. Due to the structured nature of my job, I will be able to manage my caseload effectively, eliminating the need for others to cover my cases.

            In my time as a school administrator my competence has been clearly displayed through my work. I complete all job responsibilities appropriately and in a timely manner. Working part-time would still allow me to meet with students on my caseload to address their educational concerns, facilitate Team meetings, coordinate with sending school districts, work with parents and guardians, supervise staff, and to continue to be a productive member of the XXXX community.

            I thoroughly enjoy my time at work and look forward to this new chapter in my career at XXXXXX.

            Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss this further.


            Sincerely,

            Sue
            Last edited by sflagg123; 01-14-2008, 07:51 AM. Reason: typo

            Comment


            • #7
              This has nothing really to do with FMLA and is more of a contract issue. Have you asked if this FT position is for the rest of the year or just until March 1 when it was originally to begin? has it been denied or does it just have to be reapproved?
              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


              • #8
                The full time position is for the rest of the year. The part-time position has been denied.

                Comment


                • #9
                  As they are abiding by the requirements of FMLA- that you be reeturned to the same position that you left- it isn't a violation. It may be a violation of contract if you had a binding contract that stated you would be granted this other position and now will not. If this is a school system, there ought to be some sort of procedure for grieving this. Is there a union in place? If so, discuss it with them. Did you receive the official confirmation you requested in the last email?
                  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


                  • #10
                    The full time position is for the rest of the year. The part-time position has been denied.


                    It is a private school and there are no contracts or union. The official confirmation was the email that I received stating “Please feel free to begin the planning for part time employment upon your return in the spring of 08.”

                    Thanks for all of the help.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You'd have to take the email to a lawyer and see if it rises to the level of an enforceable contract. It is possible. Have they given you a reason why they are no longer able to offer the PT hours?
                      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


                      • #12
                        No, they have not give me a specific reason other than saying things have changed.

                        If I give my notice while on FML does my company still need to continue to pay me for accrued sick/vacation time? My company has a policy that you can not use either during a notice period but I would imaging that would not apply when on FML.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Why do you imagine that being on FMLA entitles you to a benefit that other employees do not get?
                          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


                          • #14
                            Just so you know, sick pay is not required by law to be paid out at termination.
                            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sick leave pay out isn't required by law but it is common in the education sector per contract. Again, it is going to depend what your contract says about this leave and your entitlement to it. If you state that you are not returning, then they no longer have to continue your FMLA.
                              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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