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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    7

    Default Fired After Returning from Short Term Disability

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Michigan

    I was with this company for 9 years in an outside sales position, I took 12 weeks off on FMLA short term disability. I returned on September 1st. I was realeased from my positon yesterday they are citing poor performance, I have never been disciplined our warned previous this. I was given no severance.

    I feel I was let go because of going out on disability and the company felt I was a liabilty in that sense. Any help? Suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    17,293

    Default Re: Fired After Returning from Short Term Disability

    FMLA and STD are two different things. They can and often do run concurrently but it's an important distinction because while FMLA provides job protection, STD does not.

    FMLA also requires that certain criteria be met. So does STD, but the FMLA criteria are set by Federal law while STD benefits are set by company policy. If you were receiving STD benefits we can safely assume that you met those criteria even without knowing what they are. But since only FMLA provides any kind of job protection, let's be sure that you safely met the Federal criteria for FMLA. Once we know that, we can take the next step. Since FMLA has become something of a blanket word meaning medical leave, it's important to know if all the i's are dotten and the t's crossed.

    You meet one of the criteria since you were there 9 years, but you have to meet ALL of them. Does the employer have a minimum of 50 employees within 75 miles of your location? In the 12 months immediately preceding your leave, did you work a minimum of 1,250 hours for this employer? Did your condition meet the definition of a serious health condition as defined by statute?

    Once we know what laws are for sure in play, we can address your options.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Fired After Returning from Short Term Disability

    yes its alarge organozation Based out of Cleveland so they do have 50 employeses I worked from my home.....I was on a salary/draw so my hours were not acccounted for I worked from my home in a home office.

    All the forms etc were filled out by my Dr previous my leave then documents were filled out before my return also this was done between my HR and my DR.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    17,293

    Default Re: Fired After Returning from Short Term Disability

    I'm not trying to be obstructionist or avoid answering, really I'm not. But where you work out of your home, the question is not so simple as whether they have 50 employees or not. Depending on how and where the employees are situated, it is possible for some employees of the same organization to be covered under FMLA and some not.

    Which location is considered your "home base" and are there 50 employees within 75 miles of that location? The 75 miles is important - it's not just numbers, it's distance too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Fired After Returning from Short Term Disability

    I guess since I was paid from my corporate office which is in Beachwood Ohio that would be considered "Homebase" there are over 500 employees at this location.
    My home I guess could be called a "field office"
    You tell me?

    If not than the "50" employees here in the State of Michigan could be questionable, 25 tops here in Michigan.

    Also all billings, contracts etc came with the Beachwood Ohio addresss on them

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    479

    Default Re: Fired After Returning from Short Term Disability

    Where you were paid out of isn't the pertinent point. It may be that the employer wasn't required to worry about FMLA at all. (As for short-term disability, we can't know from post details whether that's an internal policy of the employer or whether you're talking about some third-party insurance company through which the employer bought a policy that covered all or part of your pay while disabled. If the employer or some insurance carrier required a medical certification, you can presume that the issue was a "serious health condition".

    You're free to consult with the federal DOl about whether FMLA applied to you and, if so, whether they feel it's more likely than not that the employer held the time off against you, let you go because of it instead of performance issues, and thus broke the law.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Fired After Returning from Short Term Disability

    I appreciate all your incite and help, who would I contact here in Michigan for the Federal DOI info? Thanks again for your help and hopefully this will get me rolling in the right direction.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    17,293

    Default Re: Fired After Returning from Short Term Disability

    Since it sounds as if the Beachwood address is the one that assigned your work, I think we can safely consider that your home base and another of the criteria met.

    Moving on to hours, I understand that you did not have to account for your hours, turn in time sheets, etc. That's okay. However, we do need to establish that you worked sufficient hours for FMLA to qualify, and we're not even near beginning to determine if there was a violation. A 40 hour week, over the course of a year, comes to 2,080 hours, so the 1,250 required for FMLA is only a very little more than half-time. Can you confirm that you worked that much in the 12 months immediately preceding your leave, even if you can't account for the exact number of hours?

    I know this is not what you expected when you posted. We're getting there, I promise.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Fired After Returning from Short Term Disability

    My 1st day back was September 1, my last day of pay here will be December 17th so?? maybe 95 work days that I have been back not including the weekends, in which I did some work from home.

    I do not understand the 1250 hours back to work? If this true it seems to be a loop hole that would favor emploers to get rid of people that went out on disability?? I worked 9 years why should the amount of time I worked after my leave even a question??

    I came back from leave September 1 2012 and my last day of work is December 17 2012.

    Sorry i misread, yes I can document that I have worked the alotted hours PRECEDING my leave....sorry

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    17,293

    Default Re: Fired After Returning from Short Term Disability

    No, you're misunderstanding me. I'm not talking about after you came back to work. One of the criteria to see if FMLA applies is whether or not you worked a minimum of 1,250 hours in the 12 months immediately BEFORE you took leave. It's got nothing to do with how long you worked after you returned. So, as an example, if you went out on leave on June 9, 2012, to qualify for FMLA you need to have worked 1,250 hours between June 9, 2011 and June 8, 2012.

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