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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Hello, Ive been working with this organization for almost

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I've been working with this organization for almost 2 years. Last September I fell ill with pneumonia and was hospitalized for 5 days. My employer was immediately notified of my circumstances by a family member. My boss was very concerned and supportive, as was the companies HR department sending flowers etc.

It was discovered my potassium levels were severely low and my white blood cell count was up in the 29000 range. This opened a can of worms. I had blacked out the day before I was hospitalized and still went into the office. Didn't make it though the day due to feeling very ill. I had been feeling what now is clear to me many symptoms ( aching bones, swollen lypmph nodes, fatigue, night sweats, chronic sore throat). I have since been back to the office in December for a few weeks and couldn't handle the 40 minute commute each way due to my un diagnosed health condition. I spoke with my boss and we both decided it would work out best for the company and myself if I work remotely. I am fully equipped to do so. We have weekly meetings and are happy with the arrangement. I also want to add we have over 50 employees who work remotely on a constant basis. The size of our company is about 400 employees.

I'm a network security engineer, my main responsibilities here are (Anti-Piracy department, Trust & Safety, Fraud and compliance).

Last week I received some blood test results from my hematologist - my lymphocytes are abnormal at 5% ratio. More test to come - no diagnosis has been given. This means it could be beginning signs of lymphoma.

I gave a Heath status update to my boss - not in this detail but just to the effect that some blood test returned abnormal results. I will be seeking a second opinion from a specialist at UCLA.

I received an email from him demanding I provided a doctors note stating I am "OK" to work and he is suspending all over time.

Thoughts? What are they trying to do here? What should I be preparing myself for with them? Do they. Have the right to ask for a doctors note - I'm just working remotely like 50 other employees.

I honestly - do not feel like I am ready to go out on medical leave or I need to keep my mind busy and feel I am fully capable performing my job. My mind is all here it's my body which is slow.

Thank you

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I am so sorry to hear abotu your presently-undiagnosed health condition and I hope you are okay.

I cannot speak to the precise motivations of your employer, but I can explain the rights of both you and your employer, which may help put all this into context for you.

First, since your employer has more than 50 employees and you have been working for more than one year, an individual in your circumstance woudl be eligible to take protected leave (meaning you can't be fired as a result of your absence) pursuant to the Family Medical Leve Act for up to 12 weeks if you have a "serious health condition" that prevents you from working.

I recognize that you feel you are okay to work, but your employer is probably very conscious of your FMLA rights. This is because, where an employer has reason to know that an employee may have the right to take FMLA but does not proactively facilitate the taking of such leave, they may be liable. This is quite possibly why your employer wants to assure that you are "okay to work."

The other potentially appliable protections for an employee in your circumstance are those afforded through the Americans With Disabilities Act. The ADA applies to employers with 15 employees or more and requires that employees suffering from a disability (defined as a condition that substantially impairs a major life function) to be afforded "reasonable accommomdations" that allow them to perform the essential functions of their position.

So, your employer may also want upates regarding your condition to determine whether you are able to perform adequately or require additional accommodations.

I am not sure why your employer would restrict overtime, but again, I cannot speculate as to the precise motivations of your employer (of course), I can only describe to you the applicable laws so you can put your employer's actions into context.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, I would be most grateful if you would remember to provide my service a positive rating, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you.

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

Very best wishes and happy holidays to you.
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