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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Nurses   (1,198 Views | 23 Replies)

336 Profile Views; 12 Posts

This is more of a vent, because I am becoming more and more anxious the more I look at things. My place of employment works on a points system and a rolling calendar year for call outs. It doesn't matter whether you have a doctor's note or not, it still counts against you. 5 points (each call out or leaving early is a point) and you're gone.

I am the primary caregiver for my elderly mother and I am in the process of being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, myself, on top of old back injuries, anxiety, and depression.  I'm afraid for my job now because, due to a rolling calendar year, I am now looking at 7.5 months ahead where I can't have any family emergency, can't become sick and call out, and can't come to work and be sent home (because even if THEY don't want you there, it counts against you) without being fired. My absences have not been excessive (4 in the past 7 months, all excused with provider notes due to very REAL issues, and one was when I was sent home by one of the providers I work with because I was so sick that he really wanted me admitted and I just declined), except in the eyes of the employer. 

I don't know what to do, not that there's anything I can do. I work around sick patients, coworkers come to work sick, my mother's health has its ups and downs, and I've also been dealing with health issues. I'm just so scared right now because I can't afford to lose my job. Unfortunately, I haven't yet been there for a year so I don't qualify for FMLA.

Edited by StillSearchingRN
Edited for clarity

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1 Follower; 770 Posts; 7,203 Profile Views

Intermittent FMLA. 

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Jedrnurse has 25 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in school nurse.

1,480 Posts; 14,056 Profile Views

38 minutes ago, beekee said:

Intermittent FMLA. 

See OP's last sentence. (Not sure if it was edit/added after your response.)

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JK123 specializes in Informatics/Med Surg/Psych.

16 Posts; 275 Profile Views

That's the same thing I was thinking too. You are protected with intermittent FMLA. I had to use this once before several years back. I had a great boss and he told me to ensure that I went through the FMLA process.

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CanIcallmymom has 4 years experience.

298 Posts; 971 Profile Views

When is the year mark for FMLA? In 4 more months? I would try my might to not miss any work during that time and make it to qualify for FMLA. If you leave this position, you will be starting completely over for FMLA purposes, which it sounds like you need. 

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422 Posts; 1,212 Profile Views

This probably doesn't help you at this moment, but in the long run you may benefit from a non-bedside job that has either some flexibility or less stringent absence policy.

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12 Posts; 336 Profile Views

44 minutes ago, CanIcallmymom said:

When is the year mark for FMLA? In 4 more months? I would try my might to not miss any work during that time and make it to qualify for FMLA. If you leave this position, you will be starting completely over for FMLA purposes, which it sounds like you need. 

Another 5 months until I'd qualify. That is definitely my plan! 🙂 

31 minutes ago, Golden_RN said:

This probably doesn't help you at this moment, but in the long run you may benefit from a non-bedside job that has either some flexibility or less stringent absence policy.

I agree. It's just so hard, when in a job search, to evaluate the benefits (flexibility, attendance, other benefits) without violating that "don't ask" rule. How do you navigate around that? I'm genuinely asking, since that is a weak spot of mine.

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Daisy4RN has 20 years experience and specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg.

1 Follower; 1 Article; 1,041 Posts; 6,883 Profile Views

So sorry you are having such a hard time. I would also recommend FMLA when you are eligible but just make sure you research and know the rules ( for example, you need to work a certain amount of hours during the year to qualify for the following year). I would also consider hiring some help for your mother in order to alleviate some of your stress and physical demands, maybe home care aides etc.

If you are going to an interview I would ask about benefits after you have received an offer for employment, usually it would be HR answering those questions.

Wishing you well!

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LibraSunCNM has 10 years experience as a MSN and specializes in OB.

1,350 Posts; 25,459 Profile Views

I have no real advice but I'm so sorry you're going through this.  I can't imagine working somewhere where you get penalized for coming into your scheduled shift and then being sent home (I assume you mean in a low census situation).  It disgusts me how common and acceptable it is to grossly mistreat workers in this country.

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12 Posts; 336 Profile Views

2 hours ago, Daisy4RN said:

So sorry you are having such a hard time. I would also recommend FMLA when you are eligible but just make sure you research and know the rules ( for example, you need to work a certain amount of hours during the year to qualify for the following year). I would also consider hiring some help for your mother in order to alleviate some of your stress and physical demands, maybe home care aides etc.

If you are going to an interview I would ask about benefits after you have received an offer for employment, usually it would be HR answering those questions.

Wishing you well!

The ironic thing is, I've worked so much required OT that I'm already at the amount of hours I'd need for FMLA, just not the months! Haha!

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12 Posts; 336 Profile Views

41 minutes ago, LibraSunCNM said:

I have no real advice but I'm so sorry you're going through this.  I can't imagine working somewhere where you get penalized for coming into your scheduled shift and then being sent home (I assume you mean in a low census situation).  It disgusts me how common and acceptable it is to grossly mistreat workers in this country.

Thank you! It counts the same whether if we're sent home sick as if we called out and didn't come in at all, which doesn't really incentivize even trying to come in, other than to get everyone else sick unfortunately. So even if I came in with a GI bug, actively vomiting, and the manager sent me home, it would count as if I didn't even come in at all if they forced me to go home (which they've already said they would "because we don't want the whole office getting sick"). So, come in sick but don't get caught in other words.

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NRSKarenRN has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

5 Followers; 10 Articles; 14,658 Posts; 161,715 Profile Views

STOP the overtime ---not required, your health/mother more important.  Placing my Manager hat on, workplace often require us to give notice of amt time off used, especially at end of year.  Do your best to skate thru the next 5 months without callouts, then apply for intermittent FMLA.

Wishing better 2020 for you. 

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