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Employment Law/FMLA question

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Question
Hello again,

I'm sorry I just sent this message with an incorrect email address.

I am currently working full time at a retirement community for over 13 years. I am a type 1 diabetic and have more than 12 Dr appointments a year and they are used for the control of my diabetes. Is there anyway I can use FMLA to cover my appointments. Currently I will get written up after the 6 appointment and let go after the 10th. Diabetes used to be a covered illness but does not seem to be anymore. Is there anything I can do?

Thanks,
Mark

Answer
Diabetes qualifies as a serious condition if it requires in-patient care (hospitalization) or if it requires you to go to the doctor at least twice a year.

If you qualify under FMLA, your employer is required to allow you to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. This leave can be taken all at once, for example 12 back-to-back weeks; or in smaller chunks, for example an hour at a time when needed (this is called intermittent leave).

If you require 12 doctor visita a year it qualifies as a serious health condition and you should be allowed to use FMLA time for these appointments in intermittent leave. This can run in conjunction with any other PTO, personal or vacation time. The employer can use this time along with FMLA time.

You cannot just say you have diabetes and need the time for the doctor appointments. Your doctor actually has to fill out the paperwork and you have to give it to your employer requesting the FMLA leave.  

If you are using intermittent leave, and the need for intermittent leave is something you would know about in advance ó such as a scheduled doctorís appointment ó you must inform your employer 30 days in advance. If the need for leave is not something you could know about in advance, you can still use your intermittent FMLA leave, but you must inform your employer that you need to use FMLA leave as soon as you are aware that you need leave and are reasonably able to contact the employer.


Once you notify your employer, your employer will give you paperwork that you and your doctor or your family memberís doctor must complete. Your employer must give you 15 days to complete the paperwork.

The doctor must provide specific information explaining why you need to take leave for your own or a family memberís diabetes. The doctor must also state how long this need for leave will last. Saying that you or your family member has diabetes and that you may need time off is not enough to qualify for FMLA leave. The doctor may have to specify, for example, that diabetes requires regular doctor visits to monitor your diabetes care, adjust medication, and check for complications. Your doctor may also need to state that it will be medically necessary to take extended time off for surgery or to take shorter leave to treat hypoglycemia.

Once you turn in all the paperwork, your employer generally will have to tell you within 5 days whether you qualify to take the requested FMLA leave.

If the company does not allow you to take the leave than you can file a complaint with the Department of Labor.

http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/index.htm

You also can file in a court of law for a violation of FMLA if you so wish.

Diabetes is also covered under the ADA, American's with Disabilities Act.

Shirley

Employment Law

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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR

Expertise

I can answer questions about payroll laws and payroll tax laws and Human Resource laws and agencies. I can answer federal payroll and human resource law questions and most states; I do not have a knowledge of the local taxes for cities and counties within the state. If and when I can I will try and send you the website where you can reference the answer and where you can obtain more information as well as a contact number if needed for that particular agency. Some agencies I have worked with are IRS, Department of Labor (federal and state), Revenue Canada (and provincial governments), Inland Revenue, OSHA (0ccupational Safety and Health Administration); Social Security Administration and National Child Support as well as other agencies in Payroll and Human Resources. Some Laws I am particularly familiar with are FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act ) , QDRO's, QMCSO's, and other support orders and garnishments, USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Remployment Rights Act,PPA Act (Pension Protection Act of 2006, As well as most other employment type acts. I am also well versed in the Title V Civil Rights Act and the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

Experience

30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

Organizations
SHRM (Society of Human Resources) APA (American Payroll Association) DOLEA (Department of Labor Employers Association) CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) The Mentoring Network

Education/Credentials
PHR Certification in Human Resources CPP Certification in Payroll in U.S. Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification in Canada

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