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  • FMLA Iowa

    FMLA Iowa
    I work at a 300+ person company. My husband is ill. He does not work. His Dr filled out FMLA papers so I could take time to care for him. This paperwork was effective starting Oct 2012. HR told me that any days taken where covered.
    The news of his illness was not good. I told HR that we wanted to go to Mayo Clinic to confirm the diagnosis. We left to go with very short notice to my work. I told them we would be gone 4 to 6 weeks. We are driving our RV from IL.
    Hr told me I would need additional paperwork from the Mayo, faxed to HR within a allotted timeframe for this to be 'aproved' leave.
    As it turns out, we had transmission issues and other things. I have been gone almost 6 weeks from work, we did not go to Mayo. We spent most of the time coming to terms with his illness, Working out final arrangements and emotionally coping with this. We have been together over 40 years.
    I didn't call work to tell them any different. And of course paperwork from Mayo was never sent.

    My question is does my work have a right to fire me? What do I have to tell them? This is still quite a shock. We just got home today 11-5-12 and I have not contacted work yet.
    Thank you for your time.

  • #2
    I am very sorry to hear about your husband's illness.

    If you fail to return FMLA paperwork in a timely fashion (usually 15 days) then the employer does not have to designate the leave as qualifying under FMLA. If the leave does not fall under FMLA, then the employer does not have to hold your job for you.

    No one here can predict what your employer will say or do when you call them, but you won't know until you do.
    I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!


    • #3
      Since your original paperwork was not for an block of time off, the company was within its rights to seek clarification. It is never a good idea to keep the company in the dark about an absence.

      My condolences on your husband's illness.


      • #4
        Agree with teh others. Further, if he never sought treatment, the time you took off in order to do so is not FMLA. That is not the purpose of FMLA and it would be fraud to try and call it such. The law was enacted so that family members could take time to attend to the medical care their loved ones need, not to deal with RV transmissions or make financial arrangements. At the very least you should have called your employer once the plans changed and asked what options you did have. To pretend you were still off seeking treatment as you told them you would do was a very unwise move. Dishonesty and a failure to keep your employer informed is a very valid reason and legal to terminate. While your situation would call for compassion and most any decent employer would try and work with you to allow you the time to take care of your husband's affairs and your RV situstion, they are also entitled to know why you are not at work.

        At this point you don;'t have a choice but to "come clean" as no note from the Mayo clinic or anywhere else will be forthcoming and the time is not legally protected. I know that isn't what you want to hear and you have a lot on your plate. I wish you luck.
        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.


        The forum is intended for informational use only and should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for legal advice. The information contained on are opinions and suggestions of members and is not a representation of the opinions of does not warrant or vouch for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any postings or the qualifications of any person responding. Please consult a legal expert or seek the services of an attorney in your area for more accuracy on your specific situation.