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sick leave and employee rights Florida

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  • sick leave and employee rights Florida

    First of all, I'd like to say hello. This is my first post!

    the boss in our dept is very very stubborn and unfair. Recently, a co-worker of mine had a child with a serious illness (will not go into details but (suicide threat)). She went to our dept supervisor to let him know that she had to leave work early because they called her from her child's school telling her she had to take her child to the emergency room. My co-worker went into detail about the situation and his response was, something along the lines of " I am going to let you this one time" and "i think you shoudl turn in ur resignation letter" My co worker got the feeling that he was trying to tell her that if she called out or asked to leave early again for something like this (even though this was the first time) she would be in trouble, she felt treatened. Upon hearing this, i sugested she go talk to HR or someone who was higher up int he food chain. she went and spoke to a someone who was above him and they aproved the sick leave. she at to get n appointment with a dr in reference to the illness, at which point she called the other supervisor and she went ahead and gave her the ok. Today she went in to ask for this friday off, becuase she had to see another dr ( a specialist) and when she turned in the leave form to our boss he told her that he was going to suspend her for going over his head and for asking for so many days off. THis happened about 2 hrs ago and he has not actually written her up for this, but he also said, " you knwo what upsets me the most is that i know this is making you not think straight while working, and its probably affecting your work. So all this time this poor lady has been having to deal with this while this boss gives her a hard time. She was also asked to write a memo stating why she needed to ask for a friday off and he told her to be specific.

    As far as i am concered if your child is sick, and you ahve sick time, you should be able to take off to go take care of it. he has denied her time off before for wanting to go to her kids spelling bees and graduations and school plays, even though she had anual leave for that, and said . " you need to stop going to those things" Our emoployee handbook states we are allowed to use our own sick time for out immediate family (husband, kids, etc)

    I myself have had to deal with injsutices as well, one time i had to have a toe nail removed ( i know its gross) originally, the dr told me i would be able to go to work the next day, but the next day i woke up with my foot all swolen and was in a lot of pain, i called the dr and he told me to keep my leg elevated and not go to work. so i called my boss an told him and he got all angry and said he wasnt going to pay sick leave for that day, i went ahead an went over his head and got it approved too, but he tries to intimidate everyone with his B.S. Another co-worker had jaw surgery that was not cosmetic, it was medical, and he made her take vacation time for that and she did. i can go on an on with horror stories.

    So i guess my question is, what laws, if any, protect employees from situations like this?

  • #2
    There is no law, at least in Florida, that grants you the absolute right to leave work for a child's emergency, or for illness.

    There are a couple of laws that potentially might cover this situation in certain circumstances.

    How many employees does the employer have? How long has your co-worker worked for the employer? How long have you?
    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


    • #3
      Sprcifically are there at least 50 employees n a 75 mile radius? Have you worked there at least 12 months and 1250 hours in the past year?
      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
        i have worked here for 5 years, my co worker for 3 and the company that we work for has plenty a lot of workers, im not sure how many but id say over 2,000.

        and about the absolute right, our emoplyee handbook states:

        sick leave may be granted for the following:

        a. personal injury
        b. insturction for a dr to limit exposure to othrs due to contagious nature
        c. medical, dental or optical examination or treatment
        d. illness in the immediate family which requires the care and attention of the employee
        Last edited by exodus; 12-26-2007, 11:23 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Sprcifically are there at least 50 employees n a 75 mile radius? Have you worked there at least 12 months and 1250 hours in the past year?

          yes, yes, and yes.

          Comment


          • #6
            The time taken for the serious health condition of the child (assuming there is one) would fall under FMLA and can not be denied. Neither can an employee be retaliated against for taking FMLA. Time taken for spelling bees, and school plays would not be covered. Neither would time for non-medical care or conditions. Example: FMLA would cover time taken to attend psychology appointments with a child diagnosed with severe depression. FMLA would not cover time taken for appointments with the school guidance counselor or therapist for disciplinary matters.

            The employee who was off for jaw surgery would also be qualified for FMLA, so long as they too worked at least 1250 hours and had been employed at least 12 months.

            The day taken off for your toe nail removal is iffy. If there was a major infection or other serious medical condition that resulted and it required more than 3 days of incapacitation and at least 2 visits to a health care provider or 1 visit and a regimine of ongoing care (such as physical therap7) it might qualify as FMLA. If the next day there was some swelling and upon call to your doctor you were just told to stay off of it for a day, FMLA would not apply.

            Also note that FMLA is unpaid leave. The law does not require that sick leave be permitted to be used to contine the pay, though your company may permit this.

            Has anyone followed up with HR or the powers that be to tell them that your manager is retaliating for these things?

            You can read more about FMLA here http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/whd/whdfs28.htm
            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


            • #7
              very good info, thank you very much for that.

              The problem with our situation is that it is complicated, but the fact of the matter is that our supervisor makes it very dificult for anyone to ask for time off, i know that FMLA has certain restriction an guidelines, but if your sick your sick, any other supervisor here would have granted the time off. Now, if this co worker has a history of caliing out sick on fridays an mondays every month or every few weeks, thats a different story, but that is not the case, as for me, i think i have called out about 5 times in the 5 years ive been working here, and I even get a hard time about askign for time off. There was another gentleman that was sick with pneomonia and he made him come to his office to talk to him about why he was taking so many days, even though he had a drs note, he had pneomonia, he came into work with a fever and looking like he woudl pass out at any second, just to talk to him. He really is an animal and has so soul.

              and does an employee have the right to reguest drs note and details about illnesses? he once made me ask my dr to type up a letter describing what was wrong with me, an my dr did it but he laughed when i asked him to. in our hadnbook it also states that our company has the right to ask for a drs note if we miss work for more than 2 days in a row, but drs notes dont ahve detailed info on illnesses. what about if i miss work one day because i have the flu and jsut need one day to get better? i dont need to go to the dr, just let me stay home and sleep one day? everyone ends up coming to work all sick an we are constantly spreading illnesses to each other becuase of this.

              All legal issues aside, what do you guys think of this guy?

              Comment


              • #8
                With regard to absolute right, I'm telling you what the law says. The law does not grant an absolute right outside of FMLA. The company policy is not law.

                No law in any state, again outside of FMLA, dictates to the employer when they can and cannot require a doctor's note.

                An employer is entitled to enough medical information to determine whether FMLA applies.

                All this being said, your employer sounds like a real piece of work.
                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


                • #9
                  i know what your saying that the hand book isnt law, the point i am trying to make is that our supervisor makes up his own laws, the handbook is there so that the employees know what the company's position is on certaint things, he is basically making up his own handbook, if you will.

                  for example, we are entitled to 2 weeks vacation a year, thats what we colelct in a year. Using myself as an example, i have about 300 hrs of vacation acumulated, so i could take a week here, and a week there, an so on, until i use up those 300 hrs, this is up to my supervisor to appove of course, but there is 6 of us in our specific dept, if i want a day off 2 weeks from now because my son has a spelling bee, and noone else has asked for that time off and there is nothign major going on at work, why cant he grant that day for me? he does it just to be mean, theres no other exoplanation, and who is he to say , " you need to stop going to those things" we do not deal with life or death situations here, we are office workers, if she wants 1 day to do that, she should be able to go. The way I see it is he wants you to take no vacation and no sick, but if u call out sick , then he wants you to use up vacation so you wont use it up later. Also, since we dont get sick time paid if we leave work, he would rather u use up your vacation time first, rather than your sick.

                  when my co-worker went to ask for friday off he actually said, " you had 2 days of vacation (refering to christmass eve and christmass day) to take care of "THAT PROBLEM" ) " so he was expecting her to get some sort of miracle from santa an have her son cured of his illness, most drs get christmass day off too by the way. he is just so unreasonable that it makes my blood boil. I think she did the right thing by going to another supervisor about this, hopefully something will get done about this man, as for me, the next time he does something directly to me im going to go complain too. I will keep you guys posted on the outcome of this.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    the point i am trying to make is that our supervisor makes up his own laws, the handbook is there so that the employees know what the company's position is on certaint things, he is basically making up his own handbook, if you will. Your recourse is to complain to HR and/or senior management about your boss disregarding company policies. Then it's up to them whether they want to jerk him in line or not.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      And the point I am trying to make is that none of that matters. If he's making up his own rules, that's an internal matter, not a legal one. There is STILL no law that says you have to be allowed to leave under the circumstances you describe unless FMLA is involved, and even if FMLA is involved you still can be required to follow standard procedures for leaving/calling in. You don't just get to get up and walk out without telling anyone where you're going and why.

                      If he is violating company policy, you report that to HR. It will be up to them, along with upper management, whether or not to do anything about it. They CAN LEGALLY allow him to make up his own rules if they choose to.
                      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


                      • #12
                        I see, thank you all so much for your help, I'm going to print out the FMLA info and give it to my co-worker.

                        Also, one last question, for these FMLA rules to go into affect, does an employer have to literaly say, " i want time off as required under the FMLA" because the FMLA is ununpaid leave, she ended up geting paid for sick time during this time. I know it is customary for women who give birth to get paid sick leave during that time, as long as they have that time, if not they get unpaid leave.
                        Last edited by exodus; 12-26-2007, 12:31 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          No, the law does not require you to specifically say you want FMLA time.

                          And it is up to company policy whether they allow paid time and FMLA time to run concurrent. It should be in your company handbook.

                          Comment

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