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Had Surgery keep my job lost my position

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  • Had Surgery keep my job lost my position

    My sister lives in Illinois and works for a large company with hundreds of emplyees. She had a previous injury to her back several years ago and after working for this company for several years she had to undergo surgery on her lower back. The surgery was paid for by the comany's medical insurance. While out on leave after the surgery the comapany continuted to pay her salary but she had to give up her acurred vaction time, which is understandable. However 6 weeks or so after returning to work she required another surgery to her back. The asked her if she would like to envolk the family leave act and and she declined for reasons I don't know. She was called after 3 weeks off and told that if she didn't return to work she would not be paid. so even though she was not released by the phyisical therapist she returned to work to find that her desk had been cleaned out and moved to another location in the building. The company brought the receptionist in to do her work while my sister was off. A few days after she returned to work and the receptionist had not left her desk my sister was informed that the receptionist was going to finish out the reconds for the remainder of the month. So my sister did small jobs for 2 days until she was pulled into her bosses office and told that the receptionist was taking over her job and that a new position with the president of the company was being created for her. This change has been denied by the president of the company and she feels as thought she has been demoted even though her salary has not YET been effected. The company has sent a presidence over that last several years by paying other employees when medical emergencies has arisen. Can my sisters position be gauranteed while she is out on medical leave? What measures should she take if this is an Avenue to fire her. She has never been disiplined by her company and feels totally slighted. This company does not offer short term or long term disability. Is this Illinois Law? Anything she can do to ensure she can get her position back. I told her that the FMLA only gaurantees her job not her position am I right?


  • #2
    The FMLA requires that an employer return an employee to their prior position or one of equivalent status and pay.

    How long was your sister on leave for each back surgery?


    • #3
      1 week prior to surgery and 2 weeks after surgesry (two weeks was vacation time) and second surgery was out for 6 weeks and 2 days.


      • #4
        So in total, she was out for slightly less than 12 weeks of leave (including the time for which she took vacation.)

        If that's the case, then must be reinstated to her prior position or one of equivalent pay and status. (I can't imagine why the employer asked your sister if she invoke the family leave act but it's irrelevant - they must comply with the FMLA if it applies regardless of whether your sister requested her leave time be FMLA or whether the employer assigned the leave time to her FMLA entitlement.)

        Your sister can contact the federal DOL to discuss her situation with them and determine whether she wishes to file a complaint: 202-693-4650.


        • #5

          She was out for a total of 9 weeks of which 2 were accrude vacation time. So 7 weeks total on the medical leave. Does her compnay have to offer short or long term disability?



          • #6
            If she used vacation time to recover from surgery that counts as part of her medical leave.

            In Illinois, employers are NOT required to offer any form of disability 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.


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