How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Patrick, Esq. Your Own Question

Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 7348
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
60109343
Type Your California Employment Law Question Here...
Patrick, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I work for the postal service for 24 years . I am on FMLA

Resolved Question:

I work for the postal service for 24 years .
I am on FMLA having just undergone an Angioplasty and Coronary stent insertion.
My Doctor gave me off work for a week.
I drive my girlfriend to work and pick her upbecause she works two jobs.
I am being badgered by my supervisor for doing this.
I feel like this is unnecesary because I have no restrictions given to me by the doctor regarding driving..
Is there something I can do to stop this hartasment?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question.

When you say you are being "badgered" for taking your FMLA leave, can you please elaborate on specifically what is occurring?

I very much look forward to assisting you regarding this matter.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I mean my supervisor is telling me I am violating my sick leave rights by giving my girlfriend a ride to work while I am on Fmla leave, we
work at the same installation, my supervisor sees me dropping her off.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My girlfriend and I work at the same Postal installation. My supervisor tells me that I am not supposed to be driving her to work while I am on sick leave. I feel that I have the right to take care of my business even if I am sick without being repeatedly told I am violating sick leave policy while on Fmla because I drive my girlfriend to work, and pick her up,because she is to tired to drive home at 2:00 am.
after having worked sixteen plus hours five days a week.
Please.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Edward,

Thank you very much for clarifying. I'm sorry that you are being made to endure this unprofessional behavior.

The way the law works with regard to FMLA is that employers and supervisors are prohibited from taking adverse employment action (i.e. firing or demoting an employee) on the basis of an employee's decision to take FMLA leave. Employers are also prohibited from engaging in any behavior that could be construed as discouraging an employee to take FMLA leave, demanding them to perform work while out on leave, or demanding them to return from FMLA leave early.

There is no law which provides that an employee who is on FMLA leave cannot take their girlfriend or wife to work, and there is nothing inherently conflicting about being out on FMLA leave and operating a vehicle. Thus, your boss's comments are ill-founded and could be construed as a discouragement to take otherwise valid medical leave.

The problem here is a pragmatic one. While the conduct you describe may very well be illegal, there is not a good way of enforcing your claim through any traditional legal process because the actual damages are small if even existent.

The law only recognizes certain forms of damage. If you were demoted as a result of taking FMLA leave and received a lower rate of pay, your damage would be easily quantifiable as the difference between your current and previous wage. If you suffered severe emotional distress as a result of harassment, that too would be a recognizable form of damage, though admittedly more difficult to quantify.

However, where harassment of the kind you describe causes mere annoyance, inconvenience or hurt feelings, the damages you would be able to pursue would be so small that the cost and effort of taking legal action would be greater than the potential return, if anything at all.

Accordingly, the best course of action in this circumstance would typically be to write a letter to the supervisor's higher ups indicating that you believe this particular individual is purposefully discouraging you from taking leave and/or demanding that you return before you are medically able, and that this behavior needs to stop because it constitutes a violation of the FMLA. Most likely, this will do the trick. If any sort of adverse employment action results as a consequence of the letter, then you would have a much more significant claim for damages than an individual in your circumstance would have at the present.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the best.

If you do not have any further concerns, I would be very grateful if you would give my answer a positive rating and click submit, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you. If you have any additional concerns that you would like me to address, please feel free to let me know by hitting the REPLY or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button and I will be more than happy to continue assisting you.

Finally, please bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

Thank you and very kindest regards.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 7348
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • LawTalk

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    933
    I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    933
    I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    869
    JD, 16 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PI/PIExpert/2012-7-1_152453_Attorney.64x64.jpg Brandon, Esq.'s Avatar

    Brandon, Esq.

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    332
    Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/phoenixrising119/2012-7-26_11214_043.64x64.jpg melissamesq's Avatar

    melissamesq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    47
    Represent clients to maximum recovery in employment cases.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IG/Iggy1001/2013-11-20_23344_JApic.64x64.jpg Joseph's Avatar

    Joseph

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    3602
    Extensive experience representing employees and management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JK/jkiani22/2013-11-18_15348_JacobKiani1copy2.64x64.jpg jkiani22's Avatar

    jkiani22

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    24
    Attorney
  • /img/opt/shirt.png Legal Counsel's Avatar

    Legal Counsel

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    32
    California Licensed Attorney- 29 years- Wages, Hours, Overtime, Discrimination, Wrongful Termination.