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few different questions about New York STD/FMLA

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  • few different questions about New York STD/FMLA


    I am a resident of New Jersey and work in New York. I have recently been placed on disability due to mental illness. I have found that I must apply for disability in New York and that the max eligible benefit is ONLY $170 per week. My first question is, is that really all that I am eligible for? I find it odd that if I were to file the very same claim in New Jersey I would be eligible for a max of $560 per week. Is there some kind of reciprocity agreement between the 2 states being that more employees in New York City are residents of New Jersey than are residents of New York. I find it hard to believe that I am held to the disability laws of a state that I cannot even vote in. The last time the state of New York re-visited the short term disability law was in the 80's and that is why the limit is $170 per week. No one, ESPECIALLY residents of NYC can live on this. If I really am held to this limit, than I should be able to address my grievance of such flagrant ineptitude by the politicians of New York state by being allowed to vote on an issue that directly effects me...........ANYWAY, I'm off of my "soap box" now.

    My second question is far more troubling. I recently contacted the person who handles "human resources" at my employer and explained that I was going on disability for certain mental illness issues. I say human resources in quotes because our company does not have an official human resources person and it is up to the office manager to handle these issues. I was VERY adamant that ONLY those people who legally must know the details of my disability be informed. I understand that under FMLA, no one who directly supervises me can know these details. Well, today I was contacted by a former co-worker of mine. This person ran into some of my current coworkers, including my supervisor, at a BBQ. This person informed me that my supervisor and other coworkers were discussing the details of my disability very openly. There were details that NO ONE could have known without finding out from our "human resources" person or others that she had informed of my disability details. I haven't even informed my own family about the details of my disability, that is how tight lipped I have been. So my question is, what exactly are my rights in this regard? Do I have any recourse? Who should I contact about this?

    (my apologies for the long winded message)

  • #2
    Do I have any recourse? Legally, no. The "HR" person certainly SHOULD have kept this confidential and only told those very few individuals who have a need to know, such as your supervisor, but no laws compel your employer to keep this confidential. (BTW, perhaps it was your supervisor who blabbed to everyone, not the office manager.)

    I understand that under FMLA, no one who directly supervises me can know these details. That's not accurate. There is nothing in the FMLA or any other laws that require your employer to keep the contents of medical leave paperwork or anything you tell them confidential.

    Who should I contact about this? You certainly are free to complain to senior management about what took place.

    I'll have to let someone familiar with NY's and NJ's State disability plans answer your first question.


    • #3
      That's all DI benefits in New York are.
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


      • #4
        You have to apply for state disability benefits in the state where you work which is New York.

        Sorry but Patty is correct - $170.00 wk. is the max. state DI benefit in N.Y.
        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.


        • #5
          And it's $170 more than you would be guaranteed in 45 states. Most states don't have a disability program at all.
          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.


          • #6
            Good point, cbg.

            OP, if you had purchased an individual STD policy, you could have supplemented the NY SDI to some extent.
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


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