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can an employer force you to take pay for FML? Washington

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  • can an employer force you to take pay for FML? Washington

    I recently had surgery and was out of work for a month. I wanted to just take FML unpaid but my employer insisted on paying me and contiued to direct deposit my pay checks after I clearly said I wanted unpaid leave. Now that I have returned to work they are makeing slave to makeup 160 hrs of work they have denied me in taken any sick days vacation days paid or unpaid till the time is maid up. It is my daughters birthday next month and I wanted to fly out to see her I had this day requested off previous to my surgery they told me if I take a day off I will be terminated. I feel my employer has put undo burden on my and has enslaved me in debt and created a hostile work enviroment. Is this illeagle what can I do?

  • #2
    Employers are legally allowed to require employees to use any form of paid leave that they have available before taking unpaid leave, if that's your question (it's not completely clear to me). This often means that employees end up with no paid leave available to them when they return from leave until they can start accruing it again.
    I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!


    • #3
      Agree, an employee may choose, or an employer may require an employee, to use
      accrued vacation days or unspecified paid time off (PTO) days during unpaid FMLA
      leave. In addition, an employee can choose, or an employer can require an employee,
      to use accrued paid sick days during an unpaid FMLA leave, but only if the employee
      takes FMLA leave for a reason for which the employee could otherwise use sick days.
      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.


      • #4

        I had no paid time avlible for them to make me use. I used all of my sick days and vacation days haveing my goll bladder removed and fighting cancer I told them I wanted FML and Id just File with L&I and unemploement for benifits But they said no the would deny the clam and forced me to take pay. at first I got the impression they were just looking out for me and helping me but when I returned to work from my hysterectomy at the end of last year they said I owed them and they carried this time debt into this year


        • #5
          If you weren't able to work, how did you think you were going to be eligible for unemployment benefits?
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


          • #6

            You just awnsered your own question I would have qualify for partial unemployment for three of the four weeks I missed because I was unable to work due to illness


            • #7
              If you were unable to work, you would not be eligible for unemployment, either partial or full benefits.
              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.


              • #8
                So you had no accrued PTO available, you went out on FML and your employer generously deicided to pay you your salary while you were out. And now you want to complain about them, saying they have "enslaved" you and you want to accuse them of a HWE?

                No good deed goes unpunished.

                People are always complaining about selfish employers only looking out for themselves, and this one goes above & beyond for an employee, and they're now a bad guy?


                • #9

                  maybe not in your state. but that isnt the point. Im asking if an employer can deny you FML and Hold you in debt for the hrs missed. I had no sick days no vacation days for them to use. they carried the time debt over to this year they will not let me use this years sick or vacation days to pay the debt they are forceing me to work a hr later a day and come in for 4 or 5 hrs every sat or sunday and they said if I call in sick or use a vacation day I will be fired is this legal


                  • #10
                    to TS compliance

                    How is that a good deed? I wanted unpaid leave so I wouldnt be in debt to them "Never a lender or borrower be" Now instead of working my 40 hrs a week im working 50 and incase you didnt read the post my health isnt 100% so tell me how this is helping me and a good deed?


                    • #11
                      They paid you for not working, when you would not have qualified for UI---in any state. You would have had NO INCOME. Keeping money coming in (and food on your table) when they had no obligation to do so isn't a good deed?
                      Last edited by TSCompliance; 02-09-2011, 01:16 PM.


                      • #12

                        No it isnt a good deed. I have money in the bank to support myself. I told my employer I wanted unpaid leave so I could heal and recover at my own pace and know every day Im at home healing im not getting into 250 bucks a day in debt to my employer. My cost of liveing is far less than 250 a day so I would have saved alot more time and money being unpaid


                        • #13
                          Are they saying you owe them MONEY, or they just let you go into the negative on PTO. You were not very clear.

                          If they just let your PTO go into the negative, I still maintain that this was nice of them. You've taken all your accrued PTO and exhausted FML, so if you took another day off from any job, you could be termed. It sounds like all they did was let you go to -160 hrs in PTO, and you can't take time off till you get it back into the positive.

                          If they are trying to get money out of you, that's a different story, but you didn't say that. The others here know the laws on taking money from an employee who owes a debt. If you had money in savings and they paid you money you did not need, why not just write them a check and give it back?

                          How are they "forcing" you to work extra time? Are you exempt or non-exempt? If you're non-exempt, you should be getting paid for all those extra hours. Are you trying to say they have you working 160 hours for free?

                          Again, to me it just sounded like they had you go 160 hours in the hole on PTO and they want you to make it back up. If this was the case, they have gone above & beyond for you.

                          And they didn't "deny" you FML, you had the time off, and you still had a job there when you returned. That's FML. They simply chose to pay you while out on FML.
                          Last edited by TSCompliance; 02-09-2011, 01:37 PM.


                          • #14

                            they are makeing me work for free to pay back in an OT situation the 160 hrs they paid me for when I wanted to take FML they will not let me use this years PTO to pay down last years debt they will not let me pay it back in cash or I would so I can Take a day off for my daughter B-day


                            • #15

                              So basicly I have to work 160 hrs of free overtime to pay back the debt they forced upon me. Ive been working ten hrs a week extra for free over a 16 week period. and I cant take a single day off untill the time is made up or I will be fired


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