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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19313
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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Just curious. I worked EMS service the past 10 years. I was

Customer Question

Just curious. I worked for an EMS service the past 10 years. I was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, and had missed a lot if work due to this, though it was all excused by a dr, and i used my own time, shared leave, and FMLA. Last September, being cancer free, I dropped to part time. Due to re-enrolling in school and the poor conditions at our service. A few weeks later, i asked if it was possible to resume my full time position, as I had decided after being away for a few weeks that I wanted to retain my position. My supervisor stated that he would only keep me part time due to the fact that I had not been "dependable" from being out so much from work when I was receiving treatment. I agreed to this, and at the same time, my service instituted a new "rule" due to my inquiry, stating that any FT employee that dropped to PT, must wait 6 months on a probationary period before reapplying. I waited my 6 months, have NEVER had a bad mark on my record. I have never had ANY disciplinary action taken against me, had an impeccable record of patient care, had wonderful evaluations every year etc. The ONLY issue I ever had was from missing work from my chemotherapy treatment. As of last year, I was deemed cancer free, which was another reason I wanted to come back FT. Over the last few months, I have inquired about my return, and atour last "meeting" my supervisor stated to "keep working and picking up shifts etc, which I had continued to do. I have asked him on numeral occassions via text, email, etc if he would get back to me about my position. About 2 weeks ago, after he had avoided me completely, I recevied an email, stating he would kep me pt, but gave no explanation as to WHY I am or was not eligible to regain my FT position with the service. We have been so short handed that even supervisors have had to fill shifts. They have suspended all vacation requests, until employees start picking up more "extra shifts" I am a paramedic, and we work 24 hour shifts, how can they MAKE us pick up more shifts, and tell us we cannot use our OWN vacation time because they do not have enough employees to cover. Anyway, at this time, my main issue is this, does he not at least owe me an explanation as to WHY, I am not eligible to rehire as a FT employee? As I said, I have NEVER had an disciplinary action, no write ups, I have an impeccable reputation with all my fellow employees, other EMS serviced we work with, Fire departments, law enforcement etc. There was literally NO reason I was ineligible for my FT position again. And he had refused to tell me why. I truly feel as if I was being discriminated against because I had cancer. It was the ONLY time I had missed work and the only time that things were very hectic. If they have 7 open FT positions, and here I am an employee with a perfect employment record, always did as told, never had any issues or concerns by anyone brought to my supervisors, have helped out everytime I was asked, why would he not give me a reason? I resigned after he had emailed me the reply as I feel like I was basically being bullied into quitting, and ultimately that is what I feel he wanted. The only reason my other two supervisors would have had any hesitancy would have been due to to hearsay is my understanding. One of new employees who has attempted to become close with oneof our supervisors, and causes alot of personal issues with other employees, had made statements that I was "wishy washy" when it came to my decision as to whether I wanted to come back FT ot not. THis in itself was not true, as I have NEVER discussed any personal intentions with anyone. Any information, rights or suggestions you could make are very much appreciated. THank you, ***** *****
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 2 years ago.

You should immediately contact the Department of Labor. While your FMLA was used many years ago, they can still be sued for retaliation for your use. Usually you would want to be closer in time to the use of FMLA, but here they practically give you the retaliation claim by making the statements that they did and by so clearly retaliating without any good cause here.

This, unfortunately, is the only way to have a claim here though. If the FMLA retaliation claim does not pan out (though I believe it will), you'd have no other legal basis for a claim.