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Intermittent FMLA, employer requires note Alabama Federal Ohio

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  • #31
    The fact that the employer has had a less formal tracking system in the past does not preclude the employer from establishing one now.
    I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!


    • #32
      Still scared and sick in OHIO

      Good Morning all, I have posted a few times with questions about some things my employer was doing that wasn't quite right with the laws. Here's my newest question.

      A couple of weeks ago I missed 3 days in a row, and even though I have missed a whole week in the past and nothing was said, this time they called me and told me that I was switched to full fmla and I needed another fmla form filled out changing it from intermittent to full, so I did. I also was paid for 10 days of my vacation/pto and then told I can't have anymore because this year they changed the rules that you earn pto by working hours. So, I had no other option when on top of the migraines and ibs, I began bleeding and I'm 10 years post menopausal at 53 (went through it between 37-40) and my obgyn now wants to do a d&c and uterine endometrial biopsy. So, now I'm home dealing and being treated more aggressively for migraines, ibs, depression and add to that the biopsy.

      I was trying to get some of the time cards and fmla forms sent around to everyone involved by logging into my company email. So I got a call from our Associate Relations representative (who is a friend of my boss the hatchett-lady) telling me that I cannot log in and work when on leave. I apologized and told them I wasn't working, I was trying to find my new fmla papers that I had faxed to my work email and get my time sheet sent to my manager.

      While this is going on I see an email from the AR rep telling me that the two laptop bags and two watches I had on my desk if anyone wanted to buy them had to be removed immediately (and I'm on full fmla), even though we have gals selling homemade jewelry, homemade cards, avon, mary kay, pampered chef, etc, etc. etc. I have been selling things for 2 years, with the ok of my manager before now. I told her I would get it when I can come back and she told me not to log into our company email anymore while on leave.

      Now I got a letter from them over the weekend saying I have exhaused my fmla hours for the year and am switched to company medical leave. I will have to go back and count the fmla hours taken from 5/08 to 5/09 and see if it is close to 12 weeks.

      I got extensions from all doctors beginning 6/09 to 12/09 or 1/10.

      If my initial intermittent leave expired in 5/09 and I got it restarted 6/09, shouldn't the hour count towards the leave of 12 weeks start over? Or is leave a once in a lifetime option? I have never dealt with this stuff before this last couple of years. If my fmla has been exhausted and they switch me to company medical leave, does this mean my job is not protected anymore?

      I am so sure they are trying to run me out and I'm sick. Should I call an attorney at this point? It hasn't helped my health issues I can tell you.

      Please help...thank you.
      Still Scared and Sick in Ohio


      • #33
        Yes they can prohibit you from selling things at work. This is especially true if you are on leave. Yes, they can prohibit you from accessing your work email while on leave.

        FMLA gives you 12 weeks of leave per year. Not per episode or ailment. How your employer defines a year is up to them. It may be a calendar year, fiscal year, anniversary of your first use of FMLA or rolling year (meaning they look back from the time you request leave to see how much time has been taken in the past 12 months). You will ned to ask which method your employer uses.

        It isn't clear how long you have been off. If you have been off since May, 12 weeks expired long ago. Any intermittent time taken off is subtracted from the total 12 weeks available.
        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.


        • #34
          Still sick and scared...and broke and tired in OH

          Thank you. I do totally understand about selling things at work, but they haven't done anything about it in the 8 years I've been there. They had to reinforce the rule to get me on another thing.

          It shouldn't matter how they track the 12 month period. I began the Intermittant FMLA in 5/19/2008. It expired on 5/19/2009. They sent me a letter telling me was going to expire and if I still needed it I needed an extension filled out again.

          I got the new intermittent fmla from my primary doc in 6/09, it took a few weeks to get in. Then in mid to late June I visited my gastro doc and had him fill one out just in case. They both were set to end in December 2009. I got letters accepting this fact from Occup Health.

          Then, in late August, the company told me I was now on full fmla because I missed 3 days and I needed a new form, so I got that. I have letters from Occup Health confirming my beginning of this latest full fmla and a packet of info to start short term disability. I had already started that by phone. The company won't give me my pto, so I had to try to get some income from std. The letter from Occup Health stated that my Full FMLA and short term disability would run concurrently, which is how I thought it was from reading some articles about it. This helped protect my job.

          No matter how they count the year period, it began in May 19, 2008, and ended on May 19, 2009, and was confirmed by them. THen there was a few weeks gap before I could get back into the doctor to get the new fmla form filled out, so there is even a gap between the two. The first one lasted a year and expired. The second one began a month after the expiration and is on now.

          I tracked my fmla hours for a while, but it didn't look like I was even close to 12 weeks (assuming it is 12 40 hour weeks or five day weeks, so I stopped. Luckily I am somewhat "anal retentive" and I write it all down, so I will add it up myself. I called my O.H. lady today and left her a message with my concern on how they arrived at the information that I exhausted my benefits, if one was a 12 month period, then a break and the next one began.

          If if is coverage for 12 weeks in a year, can they add days in that are after the year? Wouldn't the year expire after a year? I think they either made a mistake in a letter because there isn't anyone's name on it and I don't know who sent it and it's not signed either, or they are trying to un-protect my job.

          I am going to speak with her supervisor tomorrow after I have counted the fmla hours myself. I can't even afford a lawyer to help me because I don't have the 30 dollars for 30 minutes that is promised by the bar association here. Legal aid said there's nothing they can do and sent me to the bar assn. I am waiting for short term to make a determination, and in the meantime, I have nothing coming in again.

          A year is a year, it can't go over and include 14 months instead of 12 can they? I just don't know what they're thinking. I am busy thinking I may have uterine cancer and they are trying to starve me out. It just doesn't help with the ibs and migraines and depression either.

          What were they thinking.... It is looking more like I am going to be number 13 or 14 forced out in the last year. This used to be such a nice department/company, that's why I stayed so long. Maybe I should write to the top, top dog...only it's not owned by an American and he doesn't speak English so well....Just kidding, I wouldn't write him unless it does look this bleak...


          • #35
            Still scared, sick and able to track hours

            I know for sure my manager worked with Occup Health to track my fmla hours, and I tracked it for myself to avoid any "misunderstandings" or "misinformation"


            • #36
              You can find Q&A's on some changes in FMLA rules here

              When your ER said the time was expiring, it could have meant they wanted an update on the medical necessity for your leave, a certification by your treating physican. ER's can request this every 30 days...or as needed to continue the leave.

              A year is still 12 months... no matter how one counts.
              Leave is accrued over the requisit time... based on 7 day weeks... 365 day can work any combination of days to acquire the requisite number of qualifying hours.
              It shouldn't matter how they track the 12 month period.
              Well...It does. And it's your ER's option how that time is defined.

              In reading the Q&A's you'll notice much of your entitlement is based on written notification by your ER. If you are not notified as required, the ER cannot count the leave against your FMLA entitlement. (subject to the rule)

              There are great examples provided in this Q&A to help employees, and ER's understand the rules.


              • #37
                Was intermittent, then full FMLA, now leave

                I missed 3 days in a row and the company tossed me onto full medical leave, even though I have missed 3 days in a row before. I went to the doctor and got the paperwork, applied for short term disability, got that. I was told I was out of fmla and after many phone calls and pushing, they discovered I was right and there was a glitch in the reports coming from payroll. Unfortunately, I had to have surgery and now I really am out of fmla so my particular job is not protected anymore, and I received a letter saying they were replacing me.

                Since then the company has issued a new procedure. The are offering 160 people over 50 with over 5 years employment a severance package and have passed out the letters to them to decide by the end of November. Then in January and February, they are going to start the involuntary firings. They keep making a point that the firings are not targeted at the over 50 crowd, but cannot predict how many firings until they see how many volunteer for the severance package.

                I still work (I think) in the one division making them money and is supposedly exempt from these cuts. I feel I have no choice but to go back in Jan or Feb to whatever job they offer me and if I refuse it, they will consider it quitting. If I miss more, I'll get fired because I have no Fmla to cover me.

                I have been hoping to take this time off to seek medical care, rest and recuperate. It's not working out this way unfortunately because I am worried sick over my family's financial future. I'm 54 with 8 years in there, with a disabled/retired 65 y/o husband and an 18 y/o college student. I carry the insurance for all of us.

                I am guessing they cannot fire me for being on medical leave, so probably won't offer me a severance either. I still have bills to pay and my depression, migraines and ibs are actually worse than they were before. But I feel like I have no other choice but to go back. I thought about SSI and applied, but because my depression, migraines and hundreds of trips to the bathroom every morning aren't highly visible, I don't think they will believe how sick I am. I can't function, I sleep almost all the time, or else I am crying. I contacted an attorney who said she thinks she can help me, but when I call and email, I don't get any response.

                This is more of an update for all of you who have been helping me so much over the last year and a half. I don't think there's any advice for me now nor do I know where to go now. However, I thank you all so much for your input through all this.


                • #38
                  STD is not leave only how you get paid while you are otherwise off work. Once your 12 weeks have expired your job is no longer protected. If your company is going through lay offs, you can legally be let go. You are only guaranteed a job upon return if you return within the 12 weeks and your position would still otherwise exist.

                  If you are offered a job upon return, no one can force you to take it but I would not count on getting UC or remaining employed if you turn it down.

                  You can ask if you qualify for the enhanced severance/retirement deal but your employer is not obligated to offer this and if it only affects other divisions, then nothing you have shared obligates them to offer it to you.

                  A lawyer may be your best bet for SSDI. It is very hard to qualify based on episodic conditions or those which are readily treated with medication.
                  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.


                  • #39
                    Now Company Medical Leave

                    I only wish it were all treatable with medication. I do have severe adverse reactions to most medications, which is why I thought of SSI. My doctor suggested that my resistance to medicine could mean bipolar, but I am unable to tolerate the generally used meds for that, we tried several. My doc has admitted that we are out of medicinal options.

                    Wish me luck, we'll see what is in the cards for me now.


                    • #40
                      If your case can't be treated medicinally then your chances of getting SSDI are better, provided your symptoms are severe enough to preclude you from holding any job for which you might be qualified. It is a high hurdle and since the vast majority of similarly diagnosed cases can be treated with medication or therapy or diet, you would have to show that those are not possible for you.

                      If you have been working up until recently and only become unemployed due to economic cut backs or because you ran out of leave, expect extra scrutiny on your claim.
                      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.


                      • #41
                        Agree with Elle - it will be a high hurdle to get approved for SSDI.
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