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  • Wrongful Termination-Ohio Ohio

    First, thanks for any advice on how to go about this. I'm pretty lost when it comes to these kinds of things.

    Well I was working for a major retailer and I was terminated. The problem is, the process that lead to the termination I believe was against the law. But I don't know exactly what I can do, or who I should contact besides a lawyer, if any.

    Heres the violation if I interpreted it correctly.

    I was on intermittent FMLA but for some reason their system hadn't rolled the my hours over for the calendar year. So they asked me to not use any FMLA until they figured out the problem. A week goes by and the problem was resolved (Was a system error of some sort). But they wanted a new FMLA form filled out for the next up to three months. So the following day I tell my supervisor that I was leaving for work because I had a lawyers appt (directly a cause of my illness) and I needed to get my paperwork updated anyways so I went to my doctors as well.

    When I returned to work the next day they punished me for it, stating I had misused my time. Was it? I read the laws and it said my employer has the right to inquire whether the need for leave still remains, but not to judge the way it is spent. Even though it was spent on a totally reasonable cause I believe. But I was placed on their corrective action system, meaning I couldn't be considered for any promotion, cross-departmental moves, safety committee and everything else one might think of doing.

    There was another big ordeal, and if anyone would like I'd post the transcript of my Request for review of Termination that I sent to the company detailing what I believed to be a total mess, and completely avoidable.

    But it's been a couple of months, I've been collecting unemployment hoping to get my job back. But I'm worried they just won't ever respond and that'll be that. I'm just wondering if it's worth hiring a lawyer. I have the necessary documentation stating the misuse and such. Can I contact the Better Business Bureau or EEOC about their practices? I've spent alot of money on lawyers in a custody battle and if something like this isn't winnable I'd rather just cut my losses and move on.

    It's obvious I probably shouldn't even want to work for a company like that to begin with. But with the money and insurance and things like that it's better for my family until I can finish school.

    Again, thanks for any help in advance.


    -Tony

  • #2
    I am confused on a point.

    You used FMLA to go to your lawyer's office?
    Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

    I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

    Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

    Comment


    • #3
      FMLA does not cover time spent going to see lawyers nor time spent on administrative tasks such as getting forms completed. Why wouldn't you just fax the form to the doctor or drop it off before or after work? You could be written up for misusing the time.

      How did you come to be terminated (briefly- no need to post an entire transcript)? It doesn't sound related.
      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.

      Comment


      • #4
        My termination was directly connected, though it's not worth the time if a law wasn't broken.

        And it wasn't as easy as filling a form out.. doctors like their money. And even though I had the forms filled out two weeks ago I needed to actually see the doctor again and go through the routine.. I had to be their, in person.

        My HR tech told me to use the FMLA for things my illness or things pertaining my illness that I couldn't do at work. It's a direct cause of my illness, I didn't think it would be excluded.

        If it is though then that's that and I'll just collect my unemployment and drop it.

        Comment


        • #5
          The "M" in FMLA stands for medical.

          Going to your lawyer's office (or running any other errand) is not an appropriate FMLA use.
          Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

          I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

          Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

          Comment


          • #6
            Agree. Your employer did nothing illegal in regard to your termination. You were not terminated for a reason prohibited by law - ie age, religion, race. You cannot be terminated for taking FMLA when it applies but it did not apply in your case - it's for medical 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
              How is going to your lawyer's office something "pertaining to your illness" for which you were being granted FMLA? Were you disciplined for going to see the doctor and your lawyer on FMLA leave or for just going to the lawyer?

              Even though you may have been misinformed by the HR person or mis-interpreted what you were told or may have been given tacit approval by the supervisor whom you told you were taking FMLA to go to your lawyer's office, I don't see a FMLA violation. However, FMLA is enforced by the federal Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, not EEOC or the BBB. So, if you want to talk with the responsible agency, it would be Wage & Hour.

              Comment


              • #8
                termination

                Originally posted by Orionspap View Post
                First, thanks for any advice on how to go about this. I'm pretty lost when it comes to these kinds of things.

                Well I was working for a major retailer and I was terminated. The problem is, the process that lead to the termination I believe was against the law. But I don't know exactly what I can do, or who I should contact besides a lawyer, if any.

                Heres the violation if I interpreted it correctly.

                I was on intermittent FMLA but for some reason their system hadn't rolled the my hours over for the calendar year. So they asked me to not use any FMLA until they figured out the problem. A week goes by and the problem was resolved (Was a system error of some sort). But they wanted a new FMLA form filled out for the next up to three months. So the following day I tell my supervisor that I was leaving for work because I had a lawyers appt (directly a cause of my illness) and I needed to get my paperwork updated anyways so I went to my doctors as well.

                When I returned to work the next day they punished me for it, stating I had misused my time. Was it? I read the laws and it said my employer has the right to inquire whether the need for leave still remains, but not to judge the way it is spent. Even though it was spent on a totally reasonable cause I believe. But I was placed on their corrective action system, meaning I couldn't be considered for any promotion, cross-departmental moves, safety committee and everything else one might think of doing.

                There was another big ordeal, and if anyone would like I'd post the transcript of my Request for review of Termination that I sent to the company detailing what I believed to be a total mess, and completely avoidable.

                But it's been a couple of months, I've been collecting unemployment hoping to get my job back. But I'm worried they just won't ever respond and that'll be that. I'm just wondering if it's worth hiring a lawyer. I have the necessary documentation stating the misuse and such. Can I contact the Better Business Bureau or EEOC about their practices? I've spent alot of money on lawyers in a custody battle and if something like this isn't winnable I'd rather just cut my losses and move on.

                It's obvious I probably shouldn't even want to work for a company like that to begin with. But with the money and insurance and things like that it's better for my family until I can finish school.

                Again, thanks for any help in advance.


                -Tony
                If their system messed up, and I don't understand why they didn't tell you that you would get in trouble if you left, and you did go to the doctor also. I would go to the eeoc, it won't cost you any money. Sounds like you would have gotten in trouble if you stopped and went to the bathroom. Also states do differ in Fmla(I believe it's state or federal fmla). From experience, companies would rather get rid of people on fmla. Hope you get your job back.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by silkwood View Post
                  If their system messed up, and I don't understand why they didn't tell you that you would get in trouble if you left, and you did go to the doctor also. I would go to the eeoc, it won't cost you any money. Sounds like you would have gotten in trouble if you stopped and went to the bathroom. Also states do differ in Fmla(I believe it's state or federal fmla). From experience, companies would rather get rid of people on fmla. Hope you get your job back.
                  Wrong again.

                  The "F" in FMLA stands for Federal. That means that all states have the exact same code.

                  States may enhance that benefit, but they cannot "differ in FMLA".

                  Companies cannot get rid of people on FMLA for being on FMLA. However, if an employee abuses FMLA by running other nonmedical errands while on FMLA, then FMLA no longer applies.
                  Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

                  I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

                  Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cyjeff View Post
                    However, if an employee abuses FMLA by running other nonmedical errands while on FMLA, then FMLA no longer applies.
                    That only applies with intermittent FMLA, correct?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TheRed View Post
                      That only applies with intermittent FMLA, correct?
                      Yes.

                      Of course, if an employee is out for, say, 5 consecutive and complete weeks, this does not apply.

                      But if an employee takes an hour off here and a half day there, legal visits, even if directly related to the medical injury, are not covered.
                      Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

                      I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

                      Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        He cannot take FMLA FOR THE PURPOSE of going to the lawyer.

                        That is not to say that he cannot go to the lawyer while on FMLA. But a visit to the lawyer is not a covered reason to take FMLA.
                        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
                          Originally posted by joec
                          It was already approved.
                          JoeC
                          FMLA could not be used for, say, a long term civil court case either. It is to be used to heal or to be a part of the healing of another.

                          You cannot take an hour off work and say, "Put it on my FMLA tab, I am going to the lawyer." any more than you could say, "Put it on my FMLA tab, I am going to run to the dry cleaners and then go to the auto show/shoe sale."

                          It just doesn't work that way.
                          Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

                          I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

                          Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cyjeff View Post
                            Wrong again.

                            The "F" in FMLA stands for Federal. That means that all states have the exact same code.
                            Oh really JEFF. Seems to me that the F in FMLA stands for FAMILY.

                            http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/fmla/

                            Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

                            It isn't even referred to as the Federal DOL it is the US DOL as in United States.

                            Tony used his time in conjunction with a doctors appointment to get the forms his ER said they needed to continue his FMLA. So what if he also stopped at the attorney's office. It makes NO difference any more so than had he drove through the drive in at a fast food joint to grab a bite to eat. For all we know he may have used his lunch time to stop at the attorney's office.

                            He was approved in advance of his leaving to go to the attorney. IF the ER had a problem with his being out for the purpose he stated the time to object would have been BEFORE he left that day. Not at a later time.

                            Also his UI was approved. Had he been found to have been abusing his FMLA per the DOL I seriously doubt the DOL would have approved the UI.
                            Last edited by Kick Me; 05-25-2008, 10:09 PM.
                            Information posted by me is my "OPINION". I do NOT give legal advice to anyone as like most here I am NOT an attorney.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) is still a federal law. (& Ohio has no state version)

                              http://www.dol.gov/esa/programs/whd/...fmla/index.htm
                              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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