Needing to vent R/T attendance policy vs chronic illnesses - page 2

:o:oneed to vent and get it off my chest. to start my day off i was called into the nm's office and asked to give an overview of what was happening in my life. just some back ground info; i have... Read More

  1. by   purple1953reading
    Last year, my husband broke his titia and had a rod put in. He was paid short term disablity after 2 weeks. His FMLA , however, had to be started the first day, the day he had surgery. He was released to go back to work in a boot, about 3 weeks before the last day of his FMLA. BUT when he got to work, they told him that he could NOT work in the boot, and refused to put him on light duty. ALTHOUGH< IF he had been injured at work, they would have put him somewhere just to sit all day and draw full pay. IN addition, the HR director called the drs. office, and told him that he better not send him back to work because if something happened then the OS would be responsible, or liable for allowing him to return to work. WHEN we prostested that the dr had said he could come back to work with the boot, as others had, they told us the dr had rescinded the return to work release. WE of course were not told by the dr office. I called the Dept of Labor, as the dr is allowed to talk to the PATIENT ONLY< not spouse, daughter, famly, ANYBODY at the work place. SO we could not figure out HOW they got the dr to rescind, but found out later about the above call back to dr. WHEN we called the drs office to ask why he wrote a new excuse that basically prevented him from returning work, and when Husb. asked why he said "I will never write you a release to work, I have to watch out that I am not sued, or liable. " We responded that this was our family income,ins, etc and we would lose it all, (One of the longest employed people at this place was Hus.)SO, I searched the net and found a protective foot to knee boot type brace that fit into the steel toe shoes, and called to see of it could be made in time, and the prosthetics guy called the OS who said he can get it BUT I will NEVER sign off for him to go to work I have to protect myself from liability." BUT HE DID MONTH BEFORE> Anyway , had the brace made, this was two days before christas and there was a weekend, and then he had to be back by Jan 2. SO my GP called a trauma OS surgeon at the university hosp got him an appt on 12-30-06, and HE signed off for him to go to work, on Jan 2. WHen the dept of labor called the plant they kept saying the dr. had rescinded but when she talked to us and found out they called the dr. which is illegal for them to do, she asked HR WHY and they said they had a new note, she asked that they fax it and waited and waited but they never did, so she said if they kept him from going back to work, we could sue and they would help. IN additon husb was 60 so it was senior discriination. ANYWAY plant dropped their no return (and we found out they had already prevented over 12 of the longer employed guys returning to work) and when he went back the plant manager came to him and said " Glad to see you made it back. Congratulations" The lines gave me a standing ovation as nobody that they had taken FMLA had got to come back. JUst a story to show that you may have to go farther than so far. This plant has a no abscence policy. BUT they have a built in earned bank hours, where they earn so many based on how many hours they work (about 50-60 a year) and if they need a day off they take bank hours and get no demirits or whatever, but they do not get paid for those hours, they just don't get punished. BUT if they don't use them , they can carry them forward or add to christmas bonus.
    I would think that hospitals would know that people get sick, they are seen in the ER of the place they work, they use drs. that work there, and any time I was ill, I always had a doctors note. Usually, I would call somebody who was off, and try to change days, as they make it so unpleasant if you are ill. EXCEPT for those who have babies. They also do not have to guarantee you the same job, just a similar while on FMLA, and if they do decide to let you come back and you took prolonged FMLA, then they can give you what ever job. Use all the dept. at your disposal. I keep copies of my excuses from drs. and I would present them all together.
    \If you don't stick up for yourself, nobody else will. Search the topics, look up your policy, look through the sites offered, and remember there are other dept to help also. Follow the rules exactly, so nobody can come back on you. Be careful. Thousands of people call in everyday. Why they pick a few to pound on is beyond me. Good luck, I know what it is to have to have the job to have family insurance.
  2. by   ktwlpn
    I am sorry for the crap you are going through.The first thing I think you should do is tell your NM you want a meeting with him and human resources to go over the applicable policies.I think your NM will find out that HE needs a refresher. Your physician will most likely qualify you for FMLA because of all of your problems and as someone has said you can take it intermittently.I work with a nurse that has worked like this for years due to fibromyalgia.She seldom can make it in a full week and every call off is covered. AND-your NM was in-appropriate in asking you if you have started looking for another job...You've got to review the policies and know your rights.You are protected....Get busy and good luck
  3. by   Lorie P.
    Thanks everyone for all the advice and encouragement!!

    This place is well known for it's politics, changing rules to suit them.

    After talking to hubby, who was very supportive, I feel much better and am going to war tonight. Printing off polocies and updating my notes.

    AS a matter of fact I have great records and being a USN vetran, I know how to CYA!!

    They maynot be perpared for what is going to happen!
  4. by   vamedic4
    Emanuel Goldstein has great advice. GET FMLA NOW!!!!

    I have FMLA for my wife who suffers from severe migraines, and I have to call in occasionally because I've got to take her to the ER or help her otherwise deal with her headaches.

    This law was written to protect people like you...USE IT!!! Just give the forms to your doctor and have them fill out the specifics.

    And when you do call in, you just have to tell them you're "taking a FMLA day", or "using my FMLA"...they can't ask you why - it's none of their business, and (in my state at least) against the law. HR already knows, as does your manager, that you have it...so there's no need for you to divulge it to your charge RN or whomever else may ask.
  5. by   bethin
    Get FMLA.

    I have Crohn's and one of the nursing supervisor's was kind enough to pull me aside and give me the paperwork. Up until then I did not know you could take leave intermittently. My dr fills the paper out once a year, I hand it in to HR who gives a copy to nursing services. Every time I call in and it's Crohn's related, all I have to say is crohn's and it is not counted against me. Of course, if I miss more than 12 weeks they can replace me but I haven't come close to that yet. Right now I average ~10 days missed a year. It's peace of mind for me - I know if I'm truly ill that they can't pull me into the office and fire me.
  6. by   Sabby_NC
    Bless your heart I do pray things soon are looking up for you. I admire your tenacity.
  7. by   EmmaG
    BTW, you mentioned health insurance:

    (a) During any FMLA leave, an employer must maintain the employee's
    coverage under any group health plan
    (as defined in the Internal Revenue
    Code of 1986 at 26 U.S.C. 5000(b)(1)) on the same conditions as coverage
    would have been provided if the employee had been continuously employed
    during the entire leave period. All employers covered by FMLA, including
    public agencies, are subject to the Act's requirements to maintain
    health coverage.

    (b) The same group health plan benefits provided to an employee prior to taking FMLA leave must be maintained during the FMLA leave. For example, if family member coverage is provided to an employee, family member coverage must be maintained during the FMLA leave. Similarly, benefit coverage during FMLA leave for medical care, surgical care, hospital care, dental care, eye care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, etc., must be maintained during leave if provided in an employer's group health plan, including a supplement to a group health plan, whether or not provided through a flexible spending account or other component of a cafeteria plan.

    (c) If an employer provides a new health plan or benefits or changes health benefits or plans while an employee is on FMLA leave, the employee is entitled to the new or changed plan/benefits to the same
    extent as if the employee were not on leave.

    http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/ESA/Ti...CFR825.209.htm
  8. by   SuesquatchRN
    Go, Goldstein!

    Kick some HR butt, Nurse Hobbit~!
  9. by   Dolce
    Quote from nurse hobbit
    to start my day off i was called into the nm's office and asked to give an overview of what was happening in my life.
    i may be wrong, but i don't think that it is management's business to know what is happening in your personal life. you have been given some very good advice on this forum. knowing your rights is just as important as defending them. don't let administration railroad you!
  10. by   purple1953reading
    Although it is correct , that your employer must still provide you with your benefits like health and life ins. it is also true that you have to pay for them. WE had to send a check every week for our part, that was normally taken out of the check before we get it. IF you use it intermittently, I wonder how that works, or if they don't bother to collect. I know we also had to pay for three weeks, before H. collected his shortterm disability payments. and even then we did not receive the payments until he had been off for 7 weeks, and the first was for weeks 4-7. SO you have to be prepared to pay for a few things to keep them up. We we told that they can CHOOSE to keep you on should you exceed twelve weeks, but don't have to do so. Also, be very careful not to use more than the twelve weeks, as then he had to wait a year to use them again. So, I don't see how that works if used intermittently. Perhaps it is different in each state. The FMLA rights should be posted in a common area, maybe by the tmeclock, or lockers, etc. Get the number and call if you have questions .
  11. by   Lorie P.
    to everyone for all the great advice and wisdom!!

    as for how many days i usually miss in a 12 month period is about 6-8. this time it was for 4 days with doc's note after having a cardiac stress test that showed my throwing pvc' and couplettes. cardaic doc said no way to working till i get the final results of the test.

    now an update; was checking the attendance policy and it was updated in june,07 saying that quote" consistent, fair guidelines will be followed for approval and use of acrued benefit hours for an unanticipated absence during scheduled work hours not covered by fmla, loa or compassionate leave guidelines."
    then it goes on to say the following; " this attendance policy is used as a guide by the patient care services management team. management reserves the right to treat each employee on an indiviual basis, and deviation from the policy may occur if management or administration deems necessary."

    also you guys are right, i never knew about fmla for chronic illnesses till this crap started. by the way on my employement application it is listed that i have cad, essintial htn, s/p cabg and pkd. so they can not say they didn't know this when i was hired.

    also every year at our employee anual physicals, i update any rx's and change that has occurred.

    by the way speaking of fmla, i dropped a set off to each of the following;

    dd's ped's doc, she has asthma with bpd
    cardialogist
    nepherologist
    gastro doc
    primary doc.
    the first 3 i see every 6 months for follow ups.

    so now, if needed i will say when i have to call in, sick child, fmla, or one of the other options.

    please don't think i use these illnesses as a crutch, it is not in my nature or strong work ethics.

    again hobbit

    off to sleep!
  12. by   Lorie P.
    Quote from purple1953reading
    although it is correct , that your employer must still provide you with your benefits like health and life ins. it is also true that you have to pay for them. we had to send a check every week for our part, that was normally taken out of the check before we get it. if you use it intermittently, i wonder how that works, or if they don't bother to collect. i know we also had to pay for three weeks, before h. collected his shortterm disability payments. and even then we did not receive the payments until he had been off for 7 weeks, and the first was for weeks 4-7. so you have to be prepared to pay for a few things to keep them up. we we told that they can choose to keep you on should you exceed twelve weeks, but don't have to do so. also, be very careful not to use more than the twelve weeks, as then he had to wait a year to use them again. so, i don't see how that works if used intermittently.
    their policy states that fmla can be intermittently in increments as low as 1 hour if needed. so shouldn't have any problems going over hours if the average i miss a year is 32 hours at the most.



    perhaps it is different in each state. the fmla rights should be posted in a common area, maybe by the tmeclock, or lockers, etc. get the number and call if you have questions .
    nope been down for over a year while 49 mil $'s are being used to upgrade the facility.
  13. by   EmmaG
    Quote from nurse hobbit
    nope been down for over a year while 49 mil $'s are being used to upgrade the facility.
    ah, really?

    by law it has to be posted

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