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The Mystic Wave
The Mystic Wave, Paralegal
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 427
Experience:  30 yrs. exp. in the legal profession. Specializing in Personal Injury, Criminal, Civil & more.
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Legal

Customer Question

At my old job, I had IFMLA for my children. Comments about my absences were made continuously. Then in August I received a write up but my boss started the convertation with "We can’t legally touch you because of your FMLA, but". The write up was on stupid things, like I didn’t take baths(NOT TRUE), I used the internet, ect. Then in December I had to work with bronchitis and 102 temp or I would of lost my job. Unfortunitly at the end of a 12 shift I fell asleep for 2 minutes. Two days later I was terminated for absences, one which they refused to let me use my FMLA on even though I had a doctors not and for falling asleep. I this harrassment? I now have to go in front of the state board to keep my license because my boss even turned me into the state.
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  The Mystic Wave replied 11 years ago.

Greetings:


I'm sorry, the initials IFMLA or FMLA do not ring a bell - can you tell me what it means?


Also, are you only asking if this is harassment, or do you wish for further information?


Please let me know.


Thank you.


Bright Blessings.


Peace, Love & Happiness,


The Mystic Wave

Expert:  Steve replied 11 years ago.
Hi. Sorry to hear about your troubles.

It is important to distinguish between FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act)absences and Non-FMLA absences. As a supervisor, I deal with this issue regularly.

FMLA is used mostly for 2 common scenarios - you cannot work because either (1) you have a serious/chronic illness or (2) you have to care for a family member with a serious/chronic illnes. If you are absent because of bronchitis or a cold, this is not an FMLA scenario. If your child has a cold, this is not FMLA leave. However, if your child has cancer and you need to care for him, that would be FMLA.

The reason this distinction is so important is that your boss cannot fire you or take disciplinary action against you for FMLA absences. It simply cannot be a consideration in your performance review. However, I'm sure some unscupulous employers have had employees who used FMLA frequently and found ways to get rid of them. It is not hard to find something on almost every employee if you need to document reasons to fire them.

You should carefully examine the reasons they gave you for your termination. Ask yourself if co-workers did the same thing and had less or no disciplinary action taken against them. Also, you said they denied you FMLA on an ansence - based on the definition of FMLA, do you think they were wrong? You said you had a doctors note, but did not describe the illness. Check this link for a full FMLA definition:

http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/fmla/s1.html

If you think this is what happened to you, you can file a complaint or a lawsuit. This link will explain the details:

http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/fmla/fmlamenu.html

You might be able to find a local attorney who will take your case on contingency, which means you pay nothing unless you win. The attorney would take a percentage of your award. You can check with your state Bar Association (yellow pages)to find lawayers who sepcialize in employment law.

Good luck. I hope this helps!
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to TheMysticWave's Post: Thank you for contacting me. FMLA/IFMLA is Family Medical Leave Act. By law they are not allowed to hold these days against you. When the comment, "We can not legally touch you because of you FMLA" was made and the untrue write up was presented to me, I was in fear of my job. I had to work very ill(bronchitis and a temperature of 102) unfortunatly I fell asleep at the end of my shift for 2 minutes and was terminated. I work for a hospital. I am a Respiratory Care Practitioner. I just received a letter stating I have to go to the State Board because the person who terminated me send them a letter. I have to defend myself now. I am currently employeed but recently removed from the schedule after I contacted my current boss for help. I have also applied for other jobs, I receive the first call and they were very interested but I know they have seen my name on the board list. I could lose my license over this. The alligations against me are false and I know I received the write up to start the process of my termination because I missed a lot of day which I did have FMLA for because of my children. My superviser even called me a liar at one point. Is there anything here, or because I live in the right to work state am I screwed. Thank You for your time and God Bless.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Steve's Post: Thank you for your reply. I understand what you are telling me. My FMLA was for my children. I am a single mom with no family in town to help. My son was born a premie and had breathing problems and now is ADHD with some form of autisim and bipolor. My daughter at 4 week contracted a viral infection that wiped out her immune sytem and caused her to have a GI bleed which made her very anemic. She had blood on stand by because she was so bad. She is just now going on 3 years old. She was not aloud around anyone if she had any signs of becoming sick or if that person was sick, she was not aloud around them. She contracted everything in sight. If you are familiar with someone who has a compromised immune system then you know it can be very deadly for that person. I worked when I was sick. I worked the night I had Bronchitis and the temp of 102. A long 12 hour shift. Matter of fact I work 2 scheduled days this way and on the third was fired. As far as falling asleep for 2 minutes it was not intentional. I was even asked to leave the ICU because I was so ill. I caught my night supervisor sleeping, and he has seen others sleeping. He has even said that as long as you get the work done. He was at my termination and when I did point this out to me, he had no words. I was terminated on the grounds of falling asleep. I received an untrue correction action dicipline because of my abcenses. Comments were made all the time. I even offered further proof and all I got was I don't care. They knew what they were doing, they have done it in the past to others and I don't know what I can do. Now my license is on the line and I was removed from the schedule of my new job because I have to go in front of the state board. How does one pay bills or anything when your hands are tied.
Expert:  Steve replied 11 years ago.
Your children's condition would certainly apply for FMLA. Even though you are in a right to work state, they cannot legally fire you for using FMLA, up to 12 weeks. If you have not exceeded the 12 weeks, and you sincerely XXXXX XXXXX conjured up an excuse to get rid of you because you were using FMLA, then you have a case. The fact that others have fallen asleep and nothing was done supports your case.

I recommend that you retain a local attorney who will take your case on contingency (see my prior advice). If an attorney thinks they can win the unlawful termination suit, they might be willing to represent you for free at the board hearing.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Steve's Post: Steve

Thank you very much for your information, I truly appreciate it.           Toni
Expert:  The Mystic Wave replied 11 years ago.

Greetings:


Please let me know if you still need assistance.


Bright Blessings.


Peace, Love & Happiness,


The Mystic Wave

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