Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
Hello there --
You put in all the correct paperwork for the intermittent FMLA leave and the time you have taken off has all been a part of this leave?
Hello again --
If you have the names of the other employees who did not have their PALS certification and you are fairly certain that none of them were given written warnings and most of them were in the under 50 years of age group, then you could be correct that they may be discriminating against you due to your age (over 40)) or they may be discriminating against you because you are taking this intermittent FMLA leave to care for your husband (or it could be a combination of both your age and the FMLA leave that is annoying your employer). My suggestion to deal with this situation is that you contact both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") and the US Dept of Labor and file complaints against your employer with both agencies. The EEOC enforces any age discrimination complaints that may be a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act which prohibits discrimination in employment against employees due to their age (over 40), gender, race/national origin, disability, religion or sexual orientation. Here is a link to their website where you can get instructions and assistance with filing an FMLA complaint against the employer: https://www.eeoc.gov/federal/fed_employees/filing_complaint.cfm Finally, The US Dept of Labor addresses complaints from employees who claim that the employer is discriminating against them due to the fact that they must take FMLA to take care of their own medical issues or the medical issues of a close family member. Here is a link to the Dept of Labor wage and hour division complaint instruction and forms website -- https://www.dol.gov/wecanhelp/howtofilecomplaint.htm
Regarding the second question - about personnel records in PA and whether or not you must sign a copy of any warning issued to you. First, they cannot force you to sign a warning but they can still place it into your personnel folder with a notation that you read the warning but would not sign the warning. Second, the PA Personnel file Act permits an employee to review their own employment file once per year at a current employer (it does not yet include a provision for a former employee to view their personnel records). As a current employee you have the right to view the personnel file and take notes but they do not have to give you copies of anything and in order to do so, you must put the request in writing to the appropriate person in your company (usually human resources).
Finally, you can refuse to sign the warning with a blanket signature and instead write something like "employee has read the warning but does not agree with the facts and basis of the warning" and then sign and date under that statement. That way you are actually cooperating with the employer's procedures but you are not admitting to any wrongdoing. Doing it that way will help you in any EEOC and/or Labor Board hearing or action and any possible lawsuit that you might bring against the employer at a later date.
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