Help! My work is trying to tell me I'm not on disability!!!

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Kriss
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 357
   Posted 4/4/2009 8:44 AM (GMT -7)   
So I've been out of work on short term disability since the end of January. My boss has really been giving me a hard time about when I'm coming back - wanting "weekly updates", calling me constantly, etc. Today in the mail I received a letter from Human Resources saying that they believe my leave is covered under the Family Medical Leave Act. They want me to have my doctor fill out a medical certification form (which they said was enclosed but wasn't) and want me to say that this is what I am out on. They also say that any sick time I have coming to me will be used towards this. Under the FMLA I am guaranteed 12 weeks of UNPAID leave - coincidence that next week is my 12th week out?
This is a direct quote from the letter "So as long as you return to work prior to exhausting your 12 weeks of FMLA leave, the law entitles you to be reinstated to the same or similar position you held prior to your leave."
I am on short term disability, which is 26 weeks protection for my employment; I have been getting paid through disability insurance, and have not used any of my sick/vacation days as of yet. I am not using FMLA!!
Does anyone have any idea of what's going on? Except that I believe they are trying to "legally" fire me. It's probably a good thing that today is Saturday because I am ready to call there and have a fit.. I know, not a good idea.
HELP PLEASE!! Thanks.
32 year old female... diagnosed with Crohn's at age 16, then with proctitis in 2005... right hemi-coloctomy April 2001 (removed 12 inches)... currently taking 100mg 6MP, Canasa, acidolpholus, Protonix, B12 injections once a month, 20mg Prednisone, Bentyl and Percoset as needed... just started Remicade


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 4/4/2009 9:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kriss! Sorry you are in this position. You may want to speak with a lawyer, your doctor, review your policy definitions, and check your local state laws. That said, I may have some bad news for you.

As far as I know, being on disability does not protect your job. All it does is give you an income while you are out. In order to protect your job you must apply for FMLA. While you are on FMLA your employer must hold your position for you. You can be on FMLA and disability simultaneously. It is what you are supposed to do. The FMLA would hold your position while your disability insurance would pay you. Like they said, FMLA protects you for 12 weeks.

However, Crohns qualifies as a disability under the ADA and a reasonable accomodation may include your employer extended the amount of time you have under FMLA.

I hope you get this worked out. It is a common misconception that disability leave protects your job. In fact your employers policy can pay you for years as disabled but when you are fit to return to work and stop getting paid under the policy you have no job. It really isn't fair.
27 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night.  I take xanax prn for situational anxiety (aka no easy bathroom access). 


Homeboy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 4/4/2009 12:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I seen your post, and wanted to share. :)

My previous employer let me go(aka fired), the day my long term disability went into affect. Part of my job(IT) was to keep on top of emails, so I got to see the email that said I would be replaced on xx date, if I was not back at work... I was not back at work on xx day, and Fedex showed up at my door that morning with a severance package.

FMLA does protect YOUR JOB, but I did not have enough time on this job to qualify for FMLA leave.

I do think about it at times. How hard would it have been for this non profit company, this charitable organziation, who did not even pay as much as a company that is in it for profit, to keep a position open for me somewhere in the IT department. I knew their servers, their systems, and what the company wanted from them. I knew the people there, I did not cause trouble, or spread gossip, I kept my nose clean, did my job, and was happy about it. Even keeping a part time job, doing anything in IT would have been sorta nice.

Moving on;

My mom has been off work for over two years, related to workman's comp. injury, carpal tunnel. She has had a hard time dealing with the workmans comp process, they pushed her around, a nurse from workmans comp showed up at her appointments, and tried to say she was fine. She went back to work at one time, fell down some stairs trying to grab a railing with her messed up hands, and was back off work again. The workmans comp nurse got fired, and she was not pushed to come back to work after that, and this happened about a year ago.

They also did many other manipulative things, such as stopping her workmans comp checks for weeks at a time. She would phone her attorney, her attorney would get it straightened out.

She never did get fired through the process, and I think it was because she has an attorney. Her employer never did let her go. She went back to work a couple weeks ago, and her employer gave her a much easier job, they gave her a computer with voice recognition software, no using her hands, and she has the same rate of pay. She is up in the office now, no more working in the hot cook room, doing quality control.

She is part time for now, while she goes to physical therapy. She may return to full time in the future, she may not. I am quite happy to see an employer do the right thing, finally. She works for smuckers, and she seems much happier back at work.

Personally I have come to believe it is the employer themselves. If they are looking to replace you, they will find a way. If they really value you as an employee, if they want to keep you, they will find a way to keep a job open for you.

There are also companies out there that look for people with disabilities. They tend to believe that a person with a disability is if nothing else a dependable employee, they are not going to call in work sick, when they really aren't, they are not going to show up late, without a doctor's note, and they are going to WANT to be there at work.

Check out

www.eeoc.gov

And as Fitzy suggested, ADA.
CD dx @ 13 (1987)
Prednisone 10mg every other day
Phenergen PRN
Zantac 300 - Twice Day
Pain Meds
Vitamins


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 4/4/2009 1:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Homeboy: glad your mom is back to work. Worker's Comp status is actually a class where your job is protected. Otherwise it can be seen as a retalitory firing for claiming worker's comp benefits. However, disability doesn't get the same protection for some reason. Probably because disability is a "benefit" as opposed to a federal "right".
27 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night.  I take xanax prn for situational anxiety (aka no easy bathroom access). 

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