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Zachary
Zachary, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 3926
Experience:  Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
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If a husband has Parkinson Disease and the spouse needs to

Customer Question

If a husband has Parkinson Disease and the spouse needs to take him to physcial therapy, is she entitled to arrange her college teaching time responsiblites according to the needs of her husband as long as she fulfills her work assignment
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question.

You have the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off work to help a family member care for a serious medical condition under the FMLA.

You may ask to rearrange your schedule to accommodate this time off. The FMLA regulations state (in section 825 CFR 203 (d)) that "An employee may not be required to take more FMLA leave than necessary to address the circumstance that precipitated the need for the leave…" An employer who demands that you take off the entire day would be in
violation of the FMLA. Furthermore the regulations make clear that an employee may not be made to suffer adverse consequences because FMLA leave is taken.

The employee must make a “reasonable effort” to schedule the planned medical treatment so as not to “disrupt unduly the employer’s operations”. It is usually a good idea to consult with your
supervisor prior to making appointments to try to arrange a mutually agreeable treatment schedule. This does not mean the employer can deny you the time off for appointments, only that they can require that you “make a reasonable effort” to schedule so as not to "disrupt
unduly." If your health care provider can only provide you (or your covered family member)necessary treatment during the workday, then time off must be given.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
ZDN
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your answer, I am not looking for unpaid time off. I am a college teacher and cannot teach on Mon and Wed mornings due to driving my husband for therapy during the semester, but I can fufill my teaching responsiblities of teaching all course. Is that covered under the law. -

Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
So, what you are saying is that you can fulfill your teaching responsibilities for all the courses only if they make sure that the classes are not held on Monday and Wednesday morning?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes,

Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
This is one of the situations where the answer is "Not technically, but still yes"

No, you cannot force the school to change your class teaching schedule. The only thing you can force the school to do is allow you time off for the doctor's appointments.

If the school does not want to accommodate you and change the schedule of the classes, then the school will have to find a substitute teacher. However, they cannot do anything to you which would be deemed as retaliation for you taking FMLA leave. So essentially, if this would hurt your pay or your career because they are not going to change the class for you to teach it when there are no conflicts, the school would be retaliating against you. If the school wants to avoid there being a retaliation claim, then it needs to accommodate you and move the schedule unless it can establish that this would cause an undue hardship on the school.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

thank you - my scheudle had previously been set, but they want to change it to Mon and Wed mornings and I said that I cannot because of my husbands medical condition. Can they force me to change the schedule and penalize me

Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
So this is a bit different.

If the schedule was previously set, they cannot now change it if you have a current FMLA request for that time to be scheduled so you can go to the doctor's appointment then.

You need to tell them that under FMLA, they cannot change your work schedule to a time when you have previously scheduled doctor appointments, as this would violate the FMLA.

You need to specifically trigger your FMLA rights by stating that you are requesting Monday and Wednesday mornings off under the FMLA and that they need to accommodate your schedule accordingly.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

thank you

Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
Glad to be of service. Please remember to rate positively!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

one more question, when we made the original schedule, I stated I could not make Monday or Wed mornings, I did not have it in writing, but there were three people in the room including me. The original schedule was made based on my statement about my husbands drs appointment. Did the request not to teach Monday and Wed mornings have to be made in writing to be official at that time

Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
No. Although it would have been better if it were in writing.

If they do not honor the request and change your schedule despite your prior verbal warning to them that you needed the time to take your husband to doctor appointments, then you could use this as a basis for filing an FMLA claim against the school.
Zachary, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 3926
Experience: Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
Zachary and 12 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I want to review the complete situation.


 


I am a college teacher, so I do not have a 9-5 type job, but must teach four courses. When we created my schedule for the fallsemester in March, my dean wanted me on a four day schedule, and I said that I needed to take my husband to doctors appointment and therapy for his parkinsons most likely in the morning at some time on Mon and Wed so we agreed, the schedule was printed, but the Dean decided to change the schedule two months later and without consulting me added me in for Mon and Wed mornings and changed some courses I was supposed to teach. I am still teaching only the required four courses. Also the needed appointments cannot be documented until the fall. I am not looking for unpaid leave to take my husband to the Doctor's, just to leave the schedule as is without a penalty to my salary. I have no written statement - just a verbal commitment, but the first schedule has been published.


Am I able to claim that he cannot change the schedule under the FMlA as long as I am fulfilling my responsibilities and need to take my husband to the doctors as the primary care provider with out being penalized. Also what type of proof do I need? I have a general note from his neurologist that I need Mon and Wed mornings off to drive him to the needed appointments. I have not applied for a FMLA request, but I believe that may include unpaid salary and time request

Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
Yes. You have the right under the FMLA to request an accommodation and be allowed this without penalty, or you file a claim against the school under the FMLA. To win your claim you will need to show that you have made a reasonable attempt to change the doctors appointments to a time that would not conflict and that you were not able to get the doctor to agree to a different time. You will also need to show that you made your position known to your employer, i.e., that you made an FMLA request. You need to submit this request in writing and explain in your written submission that you had previously verbally requested this time off and had been under the impression that the administration understood this was an FMLA request.

This means that they cannot reduce your pay because you are on salary if they are not able to change the schedule.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

it is not about being able to try to change the time if I file a complaint, but for the health of my husband's physical therapy is better in the mornings, and going to doctors is better in the mornings

Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
Then you need to get a doctor to certify in writing that the morning appointment is medically necessary.

Medical necessity is what is important in this circumstance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The University just asked me to fill out a FMLA form, but the form does not have anything about an accommodation with pay(remember they are changing my schedule.) I do not want to fill this paperwork out - I asked them to consult with their legal department about the request for an accommodation with pay. What does one have to do for that? I said that I would write a request(not the FMlA form) with a note from my husband's physician about not being available on Mon and Wed mornings. ( remember this a University and everyone has varied schedules.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


2013 5:50 PM EST



The University just asked me to fill out a FMLA form, but the form does not have anything about an accommodation with pay(remember they are changing my schedule.) I do not want to fill this paperwork out - I asked them to consult with their legal department about the request for an accommodation with pay. What does one have to do for that? I said that I would write a request(not the FMlA form) with a note from my husband's physician about not being available on Mon and Wed mornings. ( remember this a University and everyone has varied schedules.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.


2013 5:50 PM EST



The University just asked me to fill out a FMLA form, but the form does not have anything about an accommodation with pay(remember they are changing my schedule.) I do not want to fill this paperwork out - I asked them to consult with their legal department about the request for an accommodation with pay. What does one have to do for that? I said that I would write a request(not the FMlA form) with a note from my husband's physician about not being available on Mon and Wed mornings. ( remember this a University and everyone has varied schedules


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