Can my employer deny me time off for surgery?

  1. 0 I am planning on having gastric bypass in the fall. First off my NM is one of my best friends (she was my matron of honor). A lot of times I wish she wasn't my NM because of that. Anyway, she has known that I want to have this done and has made some comments that it has to be approved and we are short so it probably wouldn't be approved. A little history here....I had a tonsilectomy last October and she gave me a lot of grief about that one also but I did get the time off. Both times she said these are elective surgeries that have to have approval from management. For the record, I could have been scheduled for surgery this month or next but I told my surgeon I want to wait until the fall. That way the summer vacations would be over and hopefully she won't give me a problem. Do you see now why I don't like my friend being my NM??? Since she initially made those comments, I don't talk to her about my surgery plans. I am waiting for it to be approved through my insurance (which it will be) and scheduled before I say anything to her again. I figure why go through the HA until I have to! I talked with my union rep and she said she didn't think that she deny a surgery, especially if it was covered by insurance. The NP in the surgeon's office says I don't even have to tell her the nature of my surgery because of privacy. Like I said she is one of my best friends and she already knows. I really don't want this delayed any more than it has to be. I already am resentful (even though it was my own doing) that I am delaying it until the fall. I am willing to quit my job over this. Any advice???

    Beth
  2. Visit  bam_bam profile page

    About bam_bam

    From 'Central NY'; 43 Years Old; Joined Jun '04; Posts: 101; Likes: 6.

    12 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  Tweety profile page
    0
    It's a shame it's come down to this. I think you need to get a note from your doctor that it's medically necessary and not elective. Since your insurance is paying for it, then it obviously is a medically necessary surgery. Then perhaps go to human resources for with it. Hopefully, they aren't going to do anything that is going to jepordize your health.

    I would also be flexible, but firm. Let your manager know it must be done during such and such a time and are willing to work with her, but don't necessarily demand a particular date if your surgeon can be flexible with the date.

    And don't worry about the grief. She probably is going to give you grief, so expect it. She might even give you more grief than she would someone else because she can be real with you because she's a friend. Obviously in this day and age people are hard to replace. You can't help that, you gotta do what you gotta do.

    Good luck!
  4. Visit  NurseRachy profile page
    0
    First of all- good luck with the surgery Beth.
    I hope that you don't get any more grief over this matter from your manager.
    Are you surprised that she is treating you like this? It doesn't like a very friendly thing to do, especially to a close friend. I couldn't imagine a friend treating me like that. As you do not want this delayed any more than it has to be my advice to you is to go ahead and do it. Firm but kind. Maybe next time you tell her about you surgery just apply for the time off. With the privacy laws there is no need to go into details - you have told her once as a friend and I feel that is enough.
    All the best. Sorry I didn't mean to dog on your NM, but this is your body and this operation will affect your health, so go with your heart.
    Rachel
  5. Visit  Jolie profile page
    0
    Do you qualify for Family and Medical Leave Act? If you have worked full-time for a large employer for at least a year, you probably do. Quietly ask Human Resources for a copy of your institutions's policy regarding this federal law.

    If you qualify, then you do not need your manager's approval for time off. You and your surgeon should schedule the surgery according to your needs, then give your manager notice according to the policy. Usually 2-4 weeks advance notice is requested for elective procedures, but the manaager's PERMISSION is not required.

    Follow your employer's policy in order to protect your right to time off and also to return to your job. Good luck to you. I hope that you are successful, and see an improvement in your health!
  6. Visit  SmilingBluEyes profile page
    0
    Boy these guys are ON IT. Good advice. I just wish to send you my best wishes for a safe, uneventful surgery and complete recovery. Good luck.
  7. Visit  NannaNurse profile page
    0
    Just what Jolie said........If you have been there for a year, you qualify for the FMLA and if your facility provides 'short-term disability', you may even qualify for that too.......talk with HR, they should know all the information you are needing.
    "We are short"...........ha!! This is the absolute worse 'catch-all', over used phrase of all time.......I HATE IT!!
    Good luck, God's speed on your recovery and daily needs and don't worry about work.........jobs seem to be 'plentiful' most places......so don't worry about work. If they are 'so short', they'll be glad when you return!!
  8. Visit  Sheri257 profile page
    0
    Quote from bam_bam
    I am planning on having gastric bypass in the fall.
    Apologies for getting a little sidetracked, and I hope you don't take offense to this question: But are you sure you want to have this surgery? We just discussed this at my school and a couple of students really regretted having this surgery. They said it caused many medical problems, and other people in the class had friends who suffered the same.

    You may want to look into this since the operation, and potential associated effects, are apparently irreversible.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Aug 1, '04
  9. Visit  CseMgr1 profile page
    0
    Quote from Jolie
    Do you qualify for Family and Medical Leave Act? If you have worked full-time for a large employer for at least a year, you probably do. Quietly ask Human Resources for a copy of your institutions's policy regarding this federal law.

    If you qualify, then you do not need your manager's approval for time off. You and your surgeon should schedule the surgery according to your needs, then give your manager notice according to the policy. Usually 2-4 weeks advance notice is requested for elective procedures, but the manaager's PERMISSION is not required.

    Follow your employer's policy in order to protect your right to time off and also to return to your job. Good luck to you. I hope that you are successful, and see an improvement in your health!
    Exactomondo. Having MEDICALLY NECESSARY surgery has NOTHING to do with friendship. This is BUSINESS, and tell her to do whatever she has to do, and you'll do the same...under the protection of the FMLA.
  10. Visit  Havin' A Party! profile page
    0
    Quote from Jolie
    Do you qualify for Family and Medical Leave Act?...
    That was my first thought on this.
  11. Visit  mattsmom81 profile page
    0
    Agree with Jolie and Tweety...and good luck. Hope it works out and you have a very successful surgery. I'm sure you've fully researched this and have a topnotch surgeon and bariatrics program...I've seen some wonderful results and have several very happy healthy friends who love their results!

    One of the problems of being too friendly with coworkers/bosses is what you're going through now. I've learned the hard way too...and am careful with my personal life at work.
  12. Visit  RNKPCE profile page
    0
    It sometimes amazes me that the compassion we are suppose to give our patients isn't extended to each other. By your managers definition lots of surgeries would be elective. Like a person who decides to have a hysterectomy after all else fails for heavy periods, or the patient with mitral valve prolaspe that decides it is finally time to get the vavle fixed when it starts causing sob with playing golf. The person who needs a total knee replacement and finally decides it is the time.

    Gastric bypass surgery is a big decision I just wish you had the support of that friend during this time for you.
  13. Visit  P_RN profile page
    0
    She's your friend and hopefully will remain so. Business and personal life sometimes conflict greatly. Look on the Department of Labor site for the explanation of FMLA. You do have to give a reason for your request as early as possible and your employer must respond to your request. It's weighted toward the employee. http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/fmla/fmlamenu.asp

    I really doubt your surgeon or you would take on a gastric bypass if it WEREN'T medically necessary. Make your request and then do what is the best for YOU, your employer and your friend should not stand in your way of your well being.
  14. Visit  hellerd2003 profile page
    0
    Quote from lizz
    Apologies for getting a little sidetracked, and I hope you don't take offense to this question: But are you sure you want to have this surgery? We just discussed this at my school and a couple of students really regretted having this surgery. They said it caused many medical problems, and other people in the class had friends who suffered the same.

    You may want to look into this since the operation, and potential associated effects, are apparently irreversible.
    The effects of morbid obesity are far, far more of a risk than surgery. A study was done in Denmark which followed a large pool of subjects for 7 years. Half had gastric bypass, half tried to lose weight via diet and exercise. At the end of 7 years, the mortality rate in the group that modified diet and exercise was HIGHER than the mortality rate in the bypass group . . . because they could not maintain a weight loss and succumbed to complications of morbid obesity.

    Everyone has anecdotal evidence of "complications" . . . a friend heard from a friend of a friend, etc. But I can tell you that as a person who was involved in a 1500+ member support group, and has had gastric bypass, I've seen less than 1% of people with life-altering complications. And some people who have "complications" (like vomiting after meals and vitamin/ mineral deficiencies) have those complications because they aren't chewing properly, and/ or don't follow their daily vitamin regimin. And, every surgeon has different skills levels-- some have patients with a higher rate of complications than others. It's important to check up on your surgeon's success/ complication rate. Not all surgeons are equal.

    When surgery is performed competently, one can have few side effects (I have GERD and take anti-acid meds, and have to supplement my iron-- both quite easy to deal with and certainly don't hinder my function as much as being 350+ lbs did!) and lose weight where they couldn't before (I've lost 190). My husband has NO complications whatsoever, and has lost 160 lbs. HIS mother had surgery over 20 years ago, lost 150 lbs, and has no surgery complications. This surgery is a lifesaver for many, and I hope the experiences of a few don't result in nurses warning folks off from having the procedure done.

    As to the regular poster-- as others have said, you should be covered under FMLA. If a doctor deems it medically necessary, they can't prevent you from treatment. Would they prevent you from having a cancerous tumor removed if it interfered with scheduling????

    Good luck to you!

    --Heather


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