Lupus and FMLA (or just FMLA in general)

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indigosunrise
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 497
   Posted 4/6/2015 12:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Good afternoon all,

I have FMLA for my Lupus and recently my supervisors have been giving me grief over it--for example, they believe/think I can predict when my Lupus is going to flare up and when I'll be out. I personally feel harassed but I've been told that everything they have said so far is not illegal. Does anyone else here deal with this and how is it best to deal with this? I feel like I have to prove I'm sick and it's really frustrating.

Tinkerbee
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 4/6/2015 2:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I would write a brief document, describing how lupus effects you and reference any medical info you can gather on lupus is general, ie sun exposure can aggravate, stressors, etc. and request that this be put in your personnel file. Perhaps your doctor can give you some help as well with documentation.
They have a right to ask if/why not you can't predict your symptomts ONCE, but asking more than once after you have given them fair information IS harrassment.

Becky20
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 4/6/2015 5:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a similar experience with a previous employer during my 2nd pregnancy. I worked in a dental office associated with a hospital. It did not start out bad at first, until I started prenatal appointments. I was scolded upon my return from those appointments. They wanted me to see a different dr who would see me only on weekends and not during business hours, which wasn't possible for me. Then they wanted a dr's note to prove I needed prenatal visits. I was formally written up and disciplined for turning in that dr's note.

Then my obgyn found out I was working in 92 degree heat because they did not have working ac and that I was not allowed my 2x15 min breaks at work in addition to the 30min lunch. I was beginning to show signs of swelling IE pre-eclampsia. I've never seen a dr get as upset on my behalf as that obgyn. My husband followed me to that appointment to make this clear to the dr. That dr's note (saying I needed to be off my feet during my breaks and the temp needed to be controlled) resulted in my work hours getting cut back to 2hrs a day for 2 months. I was fired when I returned after 7 weeks of maternity leave. The eeoc is/was a joke, there are laws but you can't depend on them. I couldn't afford a lawyer because of the lack of income at that time.

I hate to sound pessimistic but I just wanted to offer my experience. I did everything humanly possible to keep that job (practically begged and cried), it was steady work, with the best pay and benefits I've ever had. But the whole experience wounded me in a way that has taken years to come to terms with. I always try so hard to do right by others and to have gone through that experience was completely demoralizing. I would have been better off turning in my notice and seeking work elsewhere. Hearing what you are going through sounds so familiar to the start of what I endured that I worry for you.

I've come across a few webpages where people volunteer their time to help others with the process of fmla and lupus, helping your employer understand. Perhaps have a sit down with your supervisor and HR and try to be as straightforward and informative as you can be. Ask them what you can do to make this easier for them and let them know what is feasibly possible. If this fails, then perhaps it is time to look elsewhere.
Diagnosed with SLE lupus October 2014.

indigosunrise
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 497
   Posted 4/7/2015 8:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Wow Becky20, that's horrible!!! I cannot believe they could be that mean and I am so sorry that happened to you!

I guess we can't make anyone understand what we are going through. And maybe if I do get terminated, it's time to move on. I do believe God will guide me in what I should do and where I should go if this does happen.

Thanks Becky20 and Tinkerbee for your help! I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens. I know that NONE of us chose to have these illnesses and unfortunately, I don't think others understand it until they live it.

Becky20
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 4/7/2015 2:21 PM (GMT -6)   
That's a good attitude to have. Things usually have a way of working out for the better when you stay true to yourself (and your beliefs). I was able to work from home and spend quality time with my kids in the following yrs. Then found a more family friendly and flexible job that has not once questioned my requests for time off for dr's visits or illness.

about 3 yrs ago they dismantled the program that fired me and management lost their jobs due to budget cuts. Sometimes what goes around really does come around.

Just be careful and I'm sure it will work out one way or the other. :)
Diagnosed with SLE lupus October 2014.

Tiggertoo
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2015
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 4/16/2015 2:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Technically your supervisor cannot even ask you 'how do you feel today' under HIPPA, much less ask specifics about your medical condition. If you are in a company large enough to have an HR department it should be up to them to administer FMLA and any questions regarding scheduling etc. have to come from the HR administrator. The most they can do is ask that you be seen by their Dr. (at their cost). This is not to say that some companies do not play fast and loose with the legalities and lay people off etc. but that's what the law says.
Tumid Lupus/Cervical moderate stenosis, radiculopathy, osteoarthritis, bulging disks/Lumbar radiculopathy, herniated disk, bulging disks/Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome/Meniere's/Type 2 Diabetes.
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