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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12932
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I went on FMLA leave in April. In May we were told that

Customer Question

I went on FMLA leave in April. In May we were told that there would be a layoff of 65 employees - I was among them. I have just completed my FMLA term and began my separation process from my employer (a very large publishing company). We had short term disability insurance through MetLife, who covered me until September 30. My employers agreement with the IAPE union was structured so that those of us laid off would receive a severance package. My separation agreement states that they took the STD payments from my severance package, reducing the package 90%. They further took two weeks of vacation time for "overpayment" from my FMLA leave. Is this legal?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sending my separation agreement for further detail.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

An employer must not treat an employee differently because he or she took FMLA protected leave. Offsetting severance by disability benefits which the employee electing FMLA leave was already entitled to would be a form of treating an employee differently because of their FMLA leave. Thus, this would most likely be construed as an unlawful practice.

Most likely the best option here would be to retain a local attorney to draft a demand letter threatening a lawsuit for FMLA retaliation. However, if that does not work you can pursue the matter in small claims court. If the amount in controversy is more than 20k or so, a lawsuit in general civil court might also be appropriate.

I hope that you find this information helpful. 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, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

I just wanted to followup with you to make sure that you did not have any further questions or concerns. For some unknown reason, the experts are not always getting replies or ratings (which is how we get credit for our work) that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I have not yet received either. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the site administrator.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed.

Very best wishes.