FMLA question

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Manwithfibro, May 29, 2010.

  1. Manwithfibro

    Manwithfibro New Member

    I was working full-time until my fibro went into a massive flare with full blown lymph pain following a strep infection. I am now back part time (my choice to doctor as doctor would have had me stay out longer) and am getting pressure to get back to full time. What happens if I just can't do full time anymore? Am I fired?

  2. HeavenlyRN

    HeavenlyRN New Member

    I went on full short time disability in December. Prior to that I had missed a lot of work: a day here, 2 days there, etc. I was told by the employee health nurse that I could take my FMLA any way I wanted it. The full shot all at once, or.......a day here ,2 days there, a week here, 2 weeks there, 2 hours for a doctor appointment, etc.

    The problem was that I was a hospice nurse and worked on a team of 15 nurses. If I just decided that I couldn't make it one day, they would have to pick up the slack for me. I decided just to go on disability instead of making them suffer (plus......I really needed to NOT be working at the time due to pain issues).

    So, to answer your question: I guess it depends on the type of job you have. But, legally you can do as I described above.

    Hope this helps. And....just to be sure I'm not pointing you in the direction, check with your Human Resources Department.
  3. Manwithfibro

    Manwithfibro New Member

    For example, the disability people keep calling me non-stop and tell me that they have to monitor my situation. They ask stuff like "why aren't I seeing a Rheumatologist?" and my Dept. Manager keeps asking "what type of doctor is this that has you out?", basically implying that
    a family doctor is not qualified enough. Makes me think that the disability people told the Dept. Manager to probe. I am starting to get mad because if they only knew how hard I am trying and how much I is really tough with a chronic condition.
  4. HeavenlyRN

    HeavenlyRN New Member

    I'm not sure how it is where you work, but where I work, the only person allowed to ask questions like that is the employee health nurse.

    Because my boss is also a friend, I have shared a lot of information with her. But, if it wasn't someone I was close to......I wouldn't tell that person a thing. It's none of their business. It should be between you and the employee health one else.

    The disability insurance folks have a little more leeway, however. Be honest with them. Tell them WHY you're not seeing a rheumatologist - whatever the reason may be. If you're not seeing a rheumy, it actually might be a good idea for you to do so.

    I currently went from short term disability to long term disability. I a hoping to get back to work.

    The nurse practitioner in my rheumy's office has been the most helpful to me in the past 5 months. Don't get me wrong, my primary care doc has been good too, but the NP has bent over backwards for me.

    It's important to find someone that you can trust and who understands your situation. Some doctors just don't get it. And, I've also found that a lot of insurance companies REALLY don't get it.

    Try to arm yourself with as much information as possible. Let people know how this illness has impacted your day-to-day activities.

    I wish you luck. This is a good site to come to. The information I've gathered here has been invaluable to me.
  5. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    Did your Dr. write you out on disability, then you went back part time? Did he put a time limit on that or any direction?

    If so, I would say that you should not be fired! If a Dr. is telling you what you can medically do or not do, what is good or not good for your health, then I would not think you could be fired. However, keep in mind that many companies only offer benefits to full time employees (STD or LTD) should you need it again. You should check on that with your company.

    Are you taking these part times hours (the ones you're missing) as part of FMLA? If so, then no, they cannot fire you. You are allowed up to 26 weeks per year or 90 days in a row. If you are out for 91 concurrent days they then have to offer you a similar position - not necessarily the same one. I don't know if that is everywhere but that's how it is in my state.

    I was faced with these questions a couple of months ago. My biggest concern was who do you talk to? Do you trust the insurance question or HR with these questions? Who has your best interest at heart and won't hold what you say against you? You would hope both/then neither.

    Most important to remember is that you can only do what you can do. Your health is most important. I was not able to work a scheduled 8-5 full time position. I was blessed with an incredible boss who at the last hour offered me a flexible position. I don't know what kind of work you do, but are there any options for you?

    Check the FMLA laws with your state. You should be able to google them or look up the benefits with your company, they should be clearly stated.

    Good Luck - I know it's another thing we have to worry about/deal with!

  6. Manwithfibro

    Manwithfibro New Member

    as long as I can get back to full time. The PT is under FMLA leave still. Hard to know who to trust.
  7. tig519

    tig519 Member

    HIPAA laws are very clear. Only your doctor, health insurance provider (including disability) can ask questions specifically about your health.

    Your employer can NOT ask questions concerning your health. They can ask for a doctors note, or release to return to work. It does NOT have to contain the reasons for being out, or that you've recovered specifically from an illness.. just that you will be out of the office for XX days. Or that you have been cleared to return to full duties, or restricted duties and those reasons. I've seen where HR has requested more specifics about restricted duties, but not the reason behind them.

    For FMLA.. I've copied and pasted some of the info.. to gain more go to:

    A covered employer must grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:
    for the birth and care of a newborn child of the employee;
    for placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care;
    to care for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition;
    to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition; or
    for qualifying exigencies arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on active duty or call to active duty status as a member of the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation.
    A covered employer also must grant an eligible employee who is a spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, with a serious injury or illness up to a total of 26 workweeks of unpaid leave during a “single 12-month period” to care for the servicemember. For specific information regarding military family leave, see “Fact Sheet #28A: The Family and Medical Leave Act Military Family Leave Entitlements.”
    Spouses employed by the same employer are limited in the amount of family leave they may take for the birth and care of a newborn child, placement of a child for adoption or foster care, or to care for a parent who has a serious health condition to a combined total of 12 workweeks (or 26 workweeks if leave to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness is also used). Leave for birth and care, or placement for adoption or foster care, must conclude within 12 months of the birth or placement.
    Under some circumstances, employees may take FMLA leave intermittently – taking leave in separate blocks of time for a single qualifying reason – or on a reduced leave schedule – reducing the employee’s usual weekly or daily work schedule. When leave is needed for planned medical treatment, the employee must make a reasonable effort to schedule treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the employer’s operation. If FMLA leave is for birth and care, or placement for adoption or foster care, use of intermittent leave is subject to the employer's approval.
    Under certain conditions, employees or employers may choose to “substitute” (run concurrently) accrued paid leave (such as sick or vacation leave) to cover some or all of the FMLA leave. An employee’s ability to substitute accrued paid leave is determined by the terms and conditions of the employer’s normal leave policy.
    “Serious health condition” means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either:
    Inpatient care (i.e., an overnight stay) in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical-care facility, including any period of incapacity (i.e., inability to work, attend school, or perform other regular daily activities) or subsequent treatment in connection with such inpatient care; or
    Continuing treatment by a health care provider, which includes:
    (1) A period of incapacity lasting more than three consecutive, full calendar days, and any subsequent treatment or period of incapacity relating to the same condition that also includes:
    · treatment two or more times by or under the supervision of a health care provider (i.e., in-person visits, the first within 7 days and both within 30 days of the first day of incapacity); or
    · one treatment by a health care provider (i.e., an in-person visit within 7 days of the first day of incapacity) with a continuing regimen of treatment (e.g., prescription medication, physical therapy); or
    (2) Any period of incapacity related to pregnancy or for prenatal care. A visit to the health care provider is not necessary for each absence; or
    (3) Any period of incapacity or treatment for a chronic serious health condition which continues over an extended period of time, requires periodic visits (at least twice a year) to a health care provider, and may involve occasional episodes of incapacity. A visit to a health care provider is not necessary for each absence; or
    (4) A period of incapacity that is permanent or long-term due to a condition for which treatment may not be effective. Only supervision by a health care provider is required, rather than active treatment; or
    (5) Any absences to receive multiple treatments for restorative surgery or for a condition that would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three days if not treated.
    A covered employer is required to maintain group health insurance coverage for an employee on FMLA leave whenever such insurance was provided before the leave was taken and on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work. If applicable, arrangements will need to be made for employees to pay their share of health insurance premiums while on leave. In some instances, the employer may recover premiums it paid to maintain health coverage for an employee who fails to return to work from FMLA leave.
    Upon return from FMLA leave, an employee must be restored to the employee’s original job, or to an equivalent job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment. An employee’s use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that the employee earned or was entitled to before using FMLA leave, nor be counted against the employee under a “no fault” attendance policy. If a bonus or other payment, however, is based on the achievement of a specified goal such as hours worked, products sold, or perfect attendance, and the employee has not met the goal due to FMLA leave, payment may be denied unless it is paid to an employee on equivalent leave status for a reason that does not qualify as FMLA leave.
    An employee has no greater right to restoration or to other benefits and conditions of employment than if the employee had been continuously employed.
  8. Manwithfibro

    Manwithfibro New Member

    My doctor has me back to work on 25-27 hours a week with balance as STD under FMLA. Now my STD carrier is denying my claim saying there is no reason I cannot work full time. They are complete jacka**es. What do I do now? Ask HR for help or are they in cahoots with the third party administrator denying me? I am so pissed off. I thought working part time would be a positive as atleast I am trying. What do I do? My doctor cannot believe they can deny a doctor's authorization to a reduced schedule!

    Man, I am mad!
  9. DayByDazey

    DayByDazey New Member

    I'm at the point of I need to not be working my 40-hr job. I didn't make it this week. Crashed when I got up this morning. I'm missing work like crazy. I get 3 wks Vac & 1 wk sick & already used up all but 2 days. Yeah, they've asked if I think of disability. I'm the link for the yr 2011 to keep customers since my boss is retiring soon. I'm slipping away bit by bit tho. We have disability but I have to be off for a certain amt of days first before it kicks in. Poorhouse immediately & yep I highly expect my employer & group disability carrier to give me a very hard time. They aren't in the business to pay claims no matter what you hear. I need to decide because it's going to be who beats who to the punch out. Do you have an attorney friend you can call to see if they can do that?
    Take good care!