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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12782
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I work for the postal service for 24 years . I am on FMLA

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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?
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 4 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 4 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.

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. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you