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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Question FMLA Leave Initiated By Employer, Without Request By Employee

    My manager has been harassing me verbally and emotionally. She belittles me and has pulled me into a room one time and started yelling at me and reprimanded me as if I was a kid. I kept my mouth shut because I knew that once I open my mouth there's no stopping. It has become a hostile environment to work in. I was working full time and have had to go part-time just so I can avoid being around my manager.

    She just about shoved the change of status form (from full-time to part-time), in my face and coached me on what to write down. A few days later, I get a letter in the mail with FMLA forms from human resources. The letter stated I was entitled to FMLA leave and that I should complete such and such pages and return it to human resources. Now, I did not request for any forms nor did anybody discuss these forms with me. I have had bouts of a chronic condition that has increased in frequency and thus I have had many call-ins. Now as part-time on FMLA, I don't get any short term disability and other benefits. My doctor agreed that I should be on FMLA until my condition is better controlled. I signed the forms and so did my doctor.

    My question is: Is it standard for HR to do as far as the FMLA being sent to me without any discussion, without my request or permission? Is that legal?

    2nd question: If the answer to the above question is no,it's not legal. Will my signing the FMLA forms and my physician's certification negate or nullify their actions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: FMLA Leave Initiated By Employer, Without Request By Employee

    If your employer qualifies for FMLA, you qualify for FMLA, and you have a condition that your employer has a reasonable belief may qualify for FMLA, they would be in violation of the law if they did not at least offer you the forms regardless of whether you ask for them or not. They can't force you to complete them. However, if you fail to return the completed forms within 15 days, any absences you may have due to that condition will NOT be protected and you can legally be fired for the absences. So it's up to you how you want to run this.

    It is not only legal, it is mandatory.

    P.S., if all part timers do not get short term disability benefits, that's legal. If ONLY part time employees who have applied for FMLA do not get short term disability benefits, that's not. But the legal solution would not be remove the FMLA - they cannot legally NOT offer FMLA. The legal solution would be to provide STD benefits to part timers on FMLA. Or, alternately, to remove them from part timers altogether.

    The point I'm getting at is that they cannot treat employees on FMLA differently than employees not on FMLA.

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