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Indefinite Suspension Arizona Arizona

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  • Indefinite Suspension Arizona Arizona

    I was suspended, indefinitely, on Wedsnesday by my employer (I was told it was indefinite - could be a day, a week, or permanent) I was not asked to sign anything, only to turn in my badge.

    The situation that brought this on is beyond convoluted and I'm stumped as to how to proceed.

    I do know that their "investigation" is not providing the information my boss had hoped it would and give them grounds for termination.

    I continue to receive emails from work asking that I do things. I forward when appropriate, otherwise, I'm letting them sit in my in-box.

    On top of this, I recently returned to work having been out on short-term for back surgeries. Three weeks after I returned, I injured my back again at work. My surgeon wanted to take me back out of work - I said no for a variety of reasons, including that my job had been threatened prior to my return, even though I'd already told them I was coming back. The President of the company is aware of the threat and has it in writing, as I'd been documenting everything during my leave.

    In addition, I was expected to work from home during my leave, even though I was on short-term, and I did as much as I could for fear of losing my job, even though I was on FMLA as well.

    At this point, I'm hoping someone can point me in any direction. I'm very upset by this situation and am hoping for guidance in how to proceed.

    And yes, I'll answer questions to fill in any blanks.

    Thank you for your time.

  • #2
    What reason did the employer give for suspending you? I am not asking if you agree with the reason, just what did they say?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

    Comment


    • #3
      How long were you out of work for your back surgery? I am not interested in how much time was STD and what was FMLA and what if any threats were made; I want to know from the first day you were out of work for this condition to the day you returned to work, how many days was that?
      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


      • #4
        Originally posted by DAW View Post
        What reason did the employer give for suspending you? I am not asking if you agree with the reason, just what did they say?
        They say we have a "zero tolerance" policy on "gossip" although there is nothing in writing.

        I told our President's assistant of a call I'd received from one of our suppliers regarding the possible promotion of someone at the company. This occurred two weeks ago. I didn't give it anymore thought. It's not something I spoke of - I'm busy when I'm at work.

        Apparently, other people were asking the same question re: this person being promoted, but not because they were prompted by me. His assistant finally went to him with what everyone was talking about. She came to me and said he wanted details. I had nothing to hide, so I told her to give him my name and I would answer any questions he had.

        (It should be noted that our company merged with another last year and there are still two distinct companies under one roof.)

        Next thing I knew, I was suspended. My questions were not answered by them. I don't know if it's with or without pay, etc.

        Thanks for responding. Let me know if you need additional info.

        I've been there for 7 years and had never been in trouble or reprimanded until after the merger. My annual reviews support that as well.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by cbg View Post
          How long were you out of work for your back surgery? I am not interested in how much time was STD and what was FMLA and what if any threats were made; I want to know from the first day you were out of work for this condition to the day you returned to work, how many days was that?
          It was exactly 4 months. 2/25 surgery with 6/25 return to work.

          Comment


          • #6
            FMLA is 12 weeks of job protected leave.
            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


            • #7
              Originally posted by MDH AZ View Post
              They say we have a "zero tolerance" policy on "gossip" although there is nothing in writing.
              I will let the other responders address the FMLA issues, particularly, since they know more about it then I do. You may or may have a cause of action with that.

              I will stay with vanilla termination law. The "default" is employment at will, which basically means that they do not need a good reason to terminate you, just the absence of an illegal reason. The reason they gave it is not illegal on it's face. Saying they fired you because you supported the wrong sports team also would not have been illegal on it's face. However it is a weak reason. Not an illegal reason, but not a very strong reason. I suspect that most of the other questions will be FMLA related to determine whether you have the possibility of an illegal reason. If so, then your claim with be a violation of a specific law related to your medical condition and they will apparently be arguing that the termination was unrelated to the medical conditon, but apparently solely because you did gossip. Not an illegal reason to terminate but apparently no prior warnings, no published policy and maybe no other employees ever samctioned under this "policy". Not impossible by itself but not the best employer's defense if you can support a different reason for the termination.

              Now you are not actually terminated (yet). It is not yet clear if you are going to be terminated or if an illegal action has yet or will occur. For now, if you are fit to work, file a UI claim. And work with the people trying to sort out the FMLA aspect.
              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

              Comment


              • #8
                FMLA is guaranteed for 12 weeks. If it goes beyond that, the employer must approve it, which they did.

                I'm also aware that I'm in an "at will" employment state and could be terminated for a variety of reasons, including they may not like the color of something I'm wearing on a given day.

                I just received notice that I can return to work on Monday, which I will.

                I will, however, pursue this as it's been an ongoing issue with my manager since the merger. It seems to be personal and I'm growing weary of walking on eggshells because I never know what will set him off.

                Thanks to each of you for your input. I'll keep you posted if something else happens or I need your advice again.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just to be sure it's clear, ONLY the initial 12 weeks of FMLA is protected. The employer can approve additional leave, but it is NOT FMLA and it is NOT protected by law.
                  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


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cbg View Post
                    Just to be sure it's clear, ONLY the initial 12 weeks of FMLA is protected. The employer can approve additional leave, but it is NOT FMLA and it is NOT protected by law.
                    Hmmm. I have a letter from FMLA regarding the extension and the dates it was valid. That's why I was surprised by the threat from my employer. They had to approve the extended leave, and approve the FMLA extension, for FMLA to approve it as well.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      FMLA is a federal law & it's 12 weeks of job protected leave. Your employer can approve additional leave time but it is not really FMLA time. (even if they call it a FMLA extension)
                      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


                      • #12
                        FMLA is not an agency. FMLA cannot write a letter or approve anything. FMLA is an acronym for Family and Medical Leave Act, which is a statute. Under that statute, only the twelve weeks guaranteed by the statute is protected by law. An employer is free to offer more leave but since FMLA by statute and by definition is only twelve weeks, the additional time is not FMLA. Since it is not FMLA, it is not protected by law. (It MIGHT be protected by contract IF the employer has a legally binding contract or policy that guarantees it.)
                        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


                        • #13
                          The U.S. DOL is the agency that oversees the FMLA statute.
                          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

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