QUESTION: Could I be terminated for several doctor appts that I have to go to because of my medical conditons? I have the same doctors every year regarding the follow up on my medical condition. Most yearly visits are to be retested, and rechecked for all of my 13 medications I am currently on in order to keep me alive. I have used my sick hours (40) that I currently earn at the beginning of the year, and I use that time for my doctor visits, so when I'm gone, I can use that to replace my wages. I have been written up for excessive doctor appts. and they are quite aware of my situation with my health. I have used up on vacation due to my daughter needing me last OCtober 2012 because she went into labor at 7 mths. and she was hospitalized (bed ridden) and was going to be bed ridden until her due date of Jan. 10th, 2013. I had already talked with the owner and my immediate supervisor about my situation and now they are using that against me to say that I can not take off any more time until September 2013 when I earn my 3 weeks of vacation or that would be means of termnation if I'm gone any FULL days of work. The owner has expressed that he doesn't like me (2 yrs ago, when he was yelling at me) and at that occurence,my heart immediately went into a stress situation which I took off time for two days and went to see my cardiologist and he put me on 2 more medications. (cardivoloril and amlopydyne). I'm faced with a situation if I should look for another job or not or if they can in fact terminate for medical reasons??
ANSWER: First if your company employs 50 or more employees than you are eligible for FMLA leave. This is a federal law and you have 12 weeks of unpaid leave a year and the time cannot be held against you and your job must be held. This time can be used intermittently for hours at a time for doctor appointments. If you employer has 50 or more employees ask to use intermittent FMLA leave for these visits. If they ask where you heard about it say Department of Labor. I will send you the link so you can see it there.
If you company does not employ 50 or more employees or even if it does you are covered under the ADA (American's with Disabilities Act) you can ask for a reasonable accomodation for your doctor visits. They will be unpaid, but they will not count against you for attendence. You should call and talk to your local Department of Labor EEOC department about a reasonable accomodation for your disability. (Heart trouble is a disability).
They should not be holding this against you and since they know your condition it could be an ADA lawsuit if they fire you for missing time for medical appointments.
Send a formal letter asking for both FMLA leave intermittent for your doctor appointments and an ADA accomodation to cover them. Keep a copy for yourself and send one to your HR director, your supervisor and the owner of the company. Make sure it is dated and a copy is in a safe place off site for yourself so you can have it for the Department of Labor.
I would send you local links but I don't know what city or state you are in.
The FMLA link is:
There are some links toward the bottom that are helpful.
If your company is too small as has less than 50 employees than contact the Department of Labor EEOC department about how to obtain a reasonable acommodation for your disability.
If you are in California they also have a state law!
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QUESTION: Thank you Shirley for giving me those facts. Yes, we do have 50+ employees because I do the payroll for all 4 locations. Fresno, Denver, Knoxville and Florida. We have approx. 110+ hourly employees and that doesn't include the staff at each location. I am here are the corporate office in Fresno.
Should I print out the FMLA leave instructions for my immediate supervisor, who is the H.R. person as well, he doesn't seem to know as much as he should for that position because he's always asking me questions, because I do the other half of H.R. ie hire and termination paperwork, getting new employees eligible for medical insurance signed up and whatever else goes along with it. This is a family owned business and is very successful. You may or maynot have heard of us JP Lamborn co., we make HVAC air conditioning ducting.? Anyway, there are a couple of medical things I need done but I have been denied that by my supervisor. Can I actually take FMLA? what if he tells me that he won't approve it?
To file for FMLA You can get FMLA forms from the Department of labor. I would send them to you but this site does not allow me to post them here. If you need the paperwork and can't find it my e mail is smcallister @ Aim intl . com. You have to put it together as I also cannot list email here.
First you have to have 50 employees at your location or at a location within 50 miles of each other to count for the 40 employees.
If you do have 50 employees than he cannot deny you FMLA leave. He cannot fire you for taking it and he cannot retaliate against you for taking FMLA leave.
Covered employers are required to post a notice for employees outlining the basic provisions of the FMLA and are subject to a $110 civil money penalty if they willfully fail to post such a notice.
He can be sued in court by the employee for a FMLA violations some are into the millions of dollars or the employee can file a complaint with the Department of labor and they will sue the employer for the employee.
You are in California your employer also has to comply with the California Family Rights Act as well as the FMLA.
Here is a whole page of Family Leave Act lawyers in Fresno, California. Most lawyers will take the case on contingency. That means if you don't get any money they don't get paid.
Your boss needs to go take some HR classes as you are doing more HR than he is doing.