While out on sick leave, found out I am being "replaced" - page 2

Hello, I was in a pretty bad car accident in mid May, sustained a back injury. I have been out on medical leave since then. All of my necessary documentation has been sent to H.R., and I have been... Read More

  1. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from kimbalotz
    hello, i was in a pretty bad car accident in mid may, sustained a back injury. i have been out on medical leave since then. all of my necessary documentation has been sent to h.r., and i have been updating them very often on my status, including contacting my manager and doing the same. a very good friend and colleague who works in my unit had been told by another nurse in our unit that since i am out on leave and they are short staffed, the manager has asked the nurses to write down names of other rn's in our hospital who may want to switch to our department to "replace" me. mind you, we are always short staffed...i work in an extremely busy er and we routinely have 4 rn's on at night, which is ludicrous and unsafe...but that's another story. so...my being out on leave may be inconvenient, however it is not the cause of the short-staffed-ness, thus, replacing me is not the solution, right? unless...the manager is ****** that i am out on leave which is a very real possibility...although it is wrong on so many levels.question...what do i do? i am not back to work per doctors orders...i am undergoing physical therapy and slowly getting back to myself. my friend was told by the other nurse not to say anything to me...(obviously), and i don't want to throw her under the bus. i am supposedly being "replaced" , not fired...as i think they may just transfer me to another unit...but this isn't legal, right? i am flabbergasted.thanks for the advice.
    i'm sorry about your car accident and back injury. back injuries suck -- i had one myself six years ago.

    however the tone of your post is a very good indication to me of why your friend was told not to say anything to you.

    your work is always short, yet you seem to be expecting them to work even shorter while you're healing? really, it's not all about you. your absence, as unavoidable as it may be, is creating a problem for your manager who now has to fill that hole in her staffing. of course she wants to hire more staff. it may be convenient to think of it as "replacing" you, but really she's just doing her job by attempting to fill in her staffing.

    as far as your manager being angry or upset that you're out on leave -- why would you think that? unless you have a deserved reputation for malingering? or unless you were engaging in unsafe behavior that caused the accident. the manager probably is upset/frustrated with having to deal with staffing issues, but she can hardly blame you for that. or can she?

    if your unit is always short, there will still be a job there for you when you're healthy enough to return. but it is legal for them to transfer you to another unit. be grateful that you're not being fired. a former colleague of mine injured her rotator cuff at work and was out on fmla. she was fired when her fmla ran out and lost her benefits right about the time she was scheduled for corrective surgery. you still have your job.
  2. by   BlueDevil,DNP
    Quote from grntea
    "and fmla only says they have to give you a job when you return, not the same job."

    this situation has nothing to do with the family medical leave act. you can look it up. although it is true that they don't have to hold the job unless there's something in a union contract that says so.
    oh, my mistake. i thought she said she took a medical leave, and i overlooked that this was a union situation. i have minimal experience with unions so i can't speak to that. sorry.

    hope it works out.
  3. by   VICEDRN
    Sorry but I wouldn't feed into co-worker drama. Just contact the unit manager to find out what's up and no, I don't care that someone else said not to say anything and you don't want to get them in trouble. This is not the 5th grade.
  4. by   canned_bread
    Perhaps they will keep both of you when you return to work?
  5. by   Tish88
    Are you out on FMLA? If so read up on FMLA regulations.

    U.S. Department of Labor - Wage and Hour Division (WHD) - The Family and Medical Leave Act

    This is from the website about returning to your job:

    Job Restoration Upon return from FMLA leave, an employee must be restored to his or her original job, or to an "equivalent" job, which means virtually identical to the original job in terms of pay, benefits, and other employment terms and conditions.

    I was out on FMLA for the birth of my son and my employer tried to replace me and I found out about this. They tried to move me to a different position. So I contacted a government official, who supplied me with an attorney for free to handle this matter.
    The attorney contacted my employer and asked them 1 question - "does her job still exist?" My employer answered "yes, but she was replaced and the attorney told them this is illegal to do under the FMLA." Within 1 hour my employer called me up to tell me that I was returning to my normal position upon my return to work.

    Good Luck to you.
  6. by   kimbalotz
    Thank you all for your insight. I suppose there are many more stressors attached to my job (as is with ALL of us, I am sure). The short-staffing goes on all over the world I imagine, I just felt that since I have been legitimally out with an injury, and have all the appropriate documentation, I was a little surprised that while the unit is so short...they would think of replacing me even though I am experienced in the ER and the newbies are not...from what I have heard anyways. I am being totally honest, I have no write-ups or issues with insubordination, lateness/absence, and I am a team-player all the way. I make my co-workers laugh and always help out even when we are drowning with 4 RN's in an ER with 17 in triage, and 25 beds full. No joke. I even bake almost nightly and bring in treats

    I know I still have a job, and that my injury is hopefully, not permanent. I love what I do but I guess I felt insulted that I would be sent elsewhere even though I am needed down there! Of course I don't expect them to work short w/o me, but we work short all the time...with no floats...no help! YIKES. Anyways, thanks for the advice and I was not offended by any of you...I appreciate it