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On FMLA, Can't Go Back To Old Job, Now what?

Nurses   (1,930 Views | 32 Replies)

namaste111 is a BSN, RN and specializes in Rehabilitation, Liver/Kidney Transplant.

751 Profile Views; 29 Posts

Hello,

I'm on FMLA until 3/12. I went back on leave because I'm not dealing well with my husband's unexpected passing on 9/19/19 at 50, and we have a 12 yr old. I have no family, so the childcare thing is impossible. I already went through 3 people. The hospital said I can apply for other jobs, I have, no one is calling. I only have one paycheck left with my PTO, and then I'll have to pay the premium for health insurance. 

My family lives in another state 4 hrs away. I already applied to get my license in that state, it'll take a month for the fingerprints to get processed. Should I hope to get a new position at my current hospital, apply for any job in the state where I'm at, or should I start applying for jobs where my family is? There are 3 nursing career fairs in the other state. I have to sell my house, but we can live with my father until we get settled. 

I'm already in pieces and now I have to deal with this. It's too much. If anyone has any advise or input, that would be great. 

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First, my condolences for your loss, I know how difficult losing a close family member can be.

As for your situation.  It is my lay-person understanding that FMLA protects your job for 12 work weeks, and if you haven't exceeded this time your job should be protected.  Lorie Brown, a nurse attorney, hosts a forum here and might be able to better answer this question.

https://allnurses.com/legal-advice-column-c224/

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

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I am so sorry for your loss! I am not sure I understand your situation but FMLA should provide for you to return to either your job or a similar one at your current facility. If you are able to return on your date of 3/12 then I dont see a problem. If you are saying you are either physically or emotionally not ready then maybe you can get intermittent FMLA which allows for more sick days, if this is the case maybe counseling is a good idea. Because of your current situation it might be easier on you to just go back to the current facility than to move and find a new job (seems like that would just add even more stress to the situation). 

Again, so sorry for your loss, I hope you can find some peace and move forward.

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On 2/15/2020 at 11:58 AM, Daisy4RN said:

Because of your current situation it might be easier on you to just go back to the current facility than to move and find a new job (seems like that would just add even more stress to the situation). 

Same thought. OP, have you been told that you cannot return to your previous/current position? Or is the work (or the hours) such that you don't think you can do it? You know about that better than any of us, but there is something to be said for a job that you at least know, as opposed to assuming that it is going to be easier to start a new job (after the time, stress and uncertainty of the process of obtaining one).

Can you reach out to resources in your community for help in some of the other matters? Community organizations, services for women/children, etc.?  Even if you're not sure how you would use the services, they are likely to have information that might help you. Hospice organizations or other communities that facilitate grief support may have ideas for you or services you find helpful. Religious organizations are not everyone's cup of tea but a number of them at least seem keen to try to assist people with practical needs in your situation? It seems you do need to do some kind of networking one way or the other, difficult as it may be.

Do you have a lawyer or anyone who has helped you through the legal/technical processes involved in losing a spouse? Social security, etc.? I don't know the details of these things except to say I hope you have received advice about them and are utilizing whatever resources may be available to you.

I'm very sorry you are going through this.

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namaste111 is a BSN, RN and specializes in Rehabilitation, Liver/Kidney Transplant.

29 Posts; 751 Profile Views

I will be able to go back to work on 3/12, but I can't go back to my unit because of the hours/schedule. They said I can apply for other jobs at the hospital, yes, but call me skeptical, I don't trust employers much. I cannot afford for 3/11 to come around and I don't have money coming in. 

A nursing job will be fairly easy to get. My question is if I should just apply for any job within reason where I currently live, and at the same time, apply for jobs out of state, where my family lives? 

A nurse's schedule stinks when you do not have a spouse anymore and no family or close friends around. If it wasn't for the 12.5-14 hr shifts, I wouldn't have to be dealing with this additional stressor on top of being destroyed emotionally because of the loss of my husband. 

Part of me just wants to get the hell out of here, away from all of the memories.

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience as a RN.

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Just thinking, what hours would work with your new situation? Nights? Business hours? Flexible?

Would you consider going back to your old job as a temporary move to keep income and benefits coming in while you plan your next move?

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namaste111 is a BSN, RN and specializes in Rehabilitation, Liver/Kidney Transplant.

29 Posts; 751 Profile Views

Business hours would be the best situation. To be honest, when I went on leave I was at the tail end of my orientation period. My manager had a meeting with me to evaluate how I was doing and she said I was "struggling" right now in orientation. My preceptors said I wasn't focused on work for obvious reasons. I don't think they would want me back. My boss said if I'm ready in a few months to a year she'd hire me back. 

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163 Posts; 2,470 Profile Views

I would say go to your family and stay with your dad. You need the love of your family and trying to do this all on your own is too overwhelming. Also, your 12 year old needs the support of his grandpa too. When you keep hitting road blocks (place of work not supportive and no job to speak of), maybe you’re meant to be doing something else. Please, take care of yourself first and just take one day, one hour, one minute at a time. Perhaps you could see a mental health professional that could help you sort this all out. My heart aches for you and your son. I’m sending love to you for a better tomorrow ❤️

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1,200 Posts; 8,051 Profile Views

What are you needing help with in terms of childcare?  I’m just wondering how much childcare a 12 year old needs.

I’m so sorry for your loss.  I can’t even imagine losing my husband suddenly so young.  Things have to be so difficult for you.

I do think you need the support of your family.  Is there no way you could return to your current job while waiting to get things set up with a job near your family?

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ClaraRedheart has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg.

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I can't tell you what to do.. but if it were me, I'd want to be with my family. Do whatever it takes to get there. They will support you and your family while you go through the grieving process while starting a new job. 

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Jory has 10 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNM.

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On 2/15/2020 at 10:44 AM, namaste111 said:

Hello,

I'm on FMLA until 3/12. I went back on leave because I'm not dealing well with my husband's unexpected passing on 9/19/19 at 50, and we have a 12 yr old. I have no family, so the childcare thing is impossible. I already went through 3 people. The hospital said I can apply for other jobs, I have, no one is calling. I only have one paycheck left with my PTO, and then I'll have to pay the premium for health insurance. 

My family lives in another state 4 hrs away. I already applied to get my license in that state, it'll take a month for the fingerprints to get processed. Should I hope to get a new position at my current hospital, apply for any job in the state where I'm at, or should I start applying for jobs where my family is? There are 3 nursing career fairs in the other state. I have to sell my house, but we can live with my father until we get settled. 

I'm already in pieces and now I have to deal with this. It's too much. If anyone has any advise or input, that would be great. 

The childcare should be a non-issue. A 12-year old should be responsible enough to be at home for a few hours until you get home if you work day shift.  Get them a phone with tracking ability and have them text you when they get on the bus and when they get home. Tell ONE trusted neighbor. You can get inexpensive security cameras to put in your home that run on Wi-Fi so you can keep track of them.  

I started leaving my own when they were about that age and we had no problems. We had very strict rules and I made sure there were snacks and other food items that took nothing more than a microwave to manage.  They actually enjoyed the independence and the "Mom Break"...they learned that with independence comes responsibility:  Act irresponsibly and they'll have a sitter.  This alone made them comply.  

I would go back to your old job until you sort this out. So sorry for your loss. 

Edited by Jory

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TheLastUnicorn has 4 years experience and specializes in Critical Care, ICU, Rehab.

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Just... Random question...

Have you asked your son? He too is greatly affected by this. He should understand and have some input to it. We parents always try to shelter our kids from difficult things but he is 12, he's old enough for some input. This is a great opportunity for learning and growth. 

Talk to your son. Does he want to move? What about school? Friends? How does he feel about your current job? Your hours? How does he feel about being alone for 12 hours 3 days a week?

You lost your husband and he lost his dad. You need family. You need support. From experience, I say move and have those things but don't forgot your son in all this. What support does he have now? What will he have there? Moving, a new school, trying to make new friends is hard enough. Doing it after such a loss? It will be even hard. It will hurt more. Give him the chance to voice that. Listen. Take him into account, but make the choice that is best for you both, even if it will hurt for a little. Try to help him understand. Hopefully he will. 

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