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Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4974
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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I asked for a 3 month leave of absence from my job for personal

Customer Question

I asked for a 3 month leave of absence from my job for personal reasons, and was granted it by my manager and was told by him that he would grant me more time if I needed it. Prior to the time for me to return to work, I asked for an extension and was only told by another employee that my extension may not have been granted by a different supervisor who had taken the prior supervisor's place. I never received any paperwork stating this. After hearing this information, I made several calls to my employer speaking first with the secretary and obtaining this supervisor's telephone number. I then made several calls to the supervisor asking him to call me so that I could plea for a little more time off, even if it means using vacation time, being that I desperately needed more time off. However, I received no response from the messages I left on his phone. Being that I was unable to return to work at that particular time, I decided it would be best to just resign so that a termination would not be in my work history. I then faxed a resignation letter to my job and was told it was given to the the same supervisor who deliberately refused to return my phone calls. After thinking this was probably the wrong choice to make, the very next day, I faxed another letter requesting that the resignation letter be disregarded and again leaving a phone number where I can be reached. I even called HR and explained to them my situation and also filed a complaint with the company's Complaince Dept. HR said they could not help me and their only advise was to continue to call the supervisor. Today I received termination papers in the mail with no mention of the second letter I had sent. I"ve worked for this company for 12 years and feel like I was forced to resign since I did not receive any help whatsoever, from anyone. Do I have any recourse I could take since I feel I was wrongfully terminated?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 10 months ago.
I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

My name is Joseph, I am a licensed attorney, and my goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

I need a bit more information from you before I can proceed to provide you with a complete and thorough answer to your question.

Did you use your FMLA leave for the 3 months that you requested or were you just granted the time off without having to use FMLA leave?

I know you mentioned 'personal reasons,' but can you tell me if they had to do with a medical condition by any chance?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I was out on personal leave without pay due to a close family member having a serious medical problem. I needed time off to help take care of her in another state. No FMLA.

Expert:  Joseph replied 10 months ago.
Hello Pamela,

Thank you for the additional information.

Can you tell me how many employees were at your location, or within a 75 mile radius?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

IT'S A LARGE HOSPITAL. APPROX 150 IN MY DEPT ALONE.

Expert:  Joseph replied 10 months ago.
Thanks for the additional information. I will look into this and get back to you shortly.
Expert:  Joseph replied 10 months ago.
Hello Pamela,


Unfortunately, when you send in a resignation letter you generally give up your rights to sue for wrongful termination, as the termination was actually voluntary on your part, even if you did not feel that it was at the time. Also, your employer can take action immediately based on your resignation letter, as you have terminated the employment relationship at that point. Your employer is not obligated to abide by your second message, which requested that your prior resignation request be disavowed.

That said, you may have a claim for discrimination in violation of the Family Medical Leave Act, as you should have been provided with your option to take FMLA leave for an extended period of time when you informed your employer that you were in need of additional time off. If your employer failed to notify you of those rights, you can claim that you were discriminated on your proposed usage of FMLA leave in violation of the FMLA.

You can file a complaint with the EEOC for both discrimination and wrongful termination using the information available online here:

http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/charge.cfm

The EEOC will investigate your complaint on your behalf and either file suit on your behalf or issue you a right to sue letter so you can pursue your claim against your employer through a private attorney.

I hope the above information is helpful, although I realize it is not what you wanted to hear. I sincerely wish I had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate an honest and direct answer to your question. It would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less.

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions as I want to ensure that you are completely satisfied with my service. Please contact me first if you are contemplating leaving me a negative rating, as I’ll be happy to continue to address your concerns until you are completely satisfied with my service.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work.

Thanks and best of luck!


Expert:  Joseph replied 10 months ago.
Hello Pamela,

Just wanted to check in to see if you had any follow up or clarifying questions regarding the above information.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work!

Thanks and best of luck!

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