please help on management issue

  1. I am a relatively new RN (May 2004). Started work straight out of school at hospital critical care stepdown unit, completed critical care internship, and worked on the floor with many strong personalities. Did excellent on my reviews, came in to work extra shifts, and then needed to have surgery this July. I was eligible for FMLA but upon talking to my nurse manager, she told me that she would not approve my leave (was having a breast reduction DEEMED NECESSARY BY MEDICAL INSURANCE) because it was cosmetic but I could try for early in the year. I felt that was not very encouraging and tried to civilly explain to her that it was necessary because my back and shoulder pain had greatly affected my health and to some extent my performance. She replied by letting me know that if I purused this, my job could be in jeopardy. I actually thought about quitting and paying for 1 month of COBRA insurance because it surely was cheaper than a needed $10,000.00 surgery. I decided to go to her superior, and my leave was approved. I was approved for 4 weeks FMLA following my surgery, but because of complications it was extended another month. During this time I was rehospitalized, receive blood transfusions, and had a very difficult time with it. I had been in touch with the PCC from my floor to let her know that my doctor was getting ready to re-extend my leave at which time I was told that I was already on the schedule and that I would need to have it in there that day or would be responsible for my shift. I decided to call in for my next 3 shifts that day (1 week early) to ensure my doctor had enough time to get the paperwork sent. 3 days later I get a letter in the mail sayiing that I was now on unpaid LOA because I was out of PTO and that I had 2 weeks to contact them to get my schedule. That same week, my hubby's grandpa got ill and died. We went out of state for 5 days for a funeral and memorial services. When I got back, there were messages stating that I was scheduled and didn't come in. In my mailbox was a letter stating that I was fired for no call-no shows. I immediately called my PCC and explained to them that I had been out of town but that I had a letter saying that I had until OCT 13 to call them re my schedule. It was OCT 5. They told me that our nurse mgr (the one who denied my leave) was in FL for the week but she would talk to her and call me back. I haven't heard from anyone and feel I was basically blackballed and wrongfully terminated!! Any ideas on where I went wrong? Please help, I have lost my insurance and just now got a new job because I was still unable to wouk until3 weeks ago. THANKS!!
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   mydesygn
    Two Questions

    1) Before you were placed on the schedule, Did you submit a letter from your physician stating your fitness to work and was the letter submitted to the employee health department. Typically, any employee on LOA or FMLA for personal medical reasons are required to submit these before they can return to work. From your comment it sounds like your manager scheduled you to work without your express permission or knowledge. Is that true?

    2) If you were placed on the schedule without your express permission or knowledge and without paperwork stating you are fit to work, your abscences are not no shows or abandoment. You should take this information directly to human resources. Second question - Typically, most terminations are reviewed by Human Resources. Have you contacted them (not your manager) to discuss the termination reasons, you may find that this information was not submitted correctly or contains incorrect information. You should demand your termination be reviewed. Particularry in light of the fact that your manager initially denied your FMLA and her director overruled her, this shows a level of incompetence on your manager's part. You can certainly question her competence in regards to your termination.
  4. by   llg
    I agree with the above poster. FMLA issues are matters of federal law. They are not subject to the whims of a particular nurse manager. You should be dealing directly with your Human Resources department, not you nurse manager.

    Set up a meeting with the proper person in the HR deparment in which you review every step. Come to the meeting with copies of whatever you have in writing. (Keep the originals for yourself.) Write a timeline of events to share with HR either before or during the meeting.

    Only then will you know where you actually stand. If things go well, the HR department will clarify things for you and straighten out whatever needs to be straightened out. In the worst-case scenario, you may want to talk with an attorney.

    Good luck ... and please let us know how things stand after you talk with HR.

    llg
  5. by   Havin' A Party!
    Ditto LLG.
  6. by   Sable's mom
    As a new manager, I was made very aware of the fact that FMLA is federally mandated and whether I agreed or approved was irrelevant. At our institution all leaves - for any reason - are handled throught HR. It prevents the kind of crap that you're going through right now. :angryfire: I wish I was nearby and could have a talk with your manager - she sounds like a real jerk.
    Good luck kelbel - keep us up to date.
  7. by   Havin' A Party!
    Quote from lindaisanurse
    ... your manager - she sounds like a real jerk...
    Yeah, that came through pretty loud and clear, didn't it?

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