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I work in sales support at a medical software company. My…

I work in sales...

I work in sales support at a medical software company. My job description states that I must be able to travel 80% of the time. I am currently undergoing IVF treatment. My Dr. said that he recommends no air travel from the start of the IVF medications through the first trimester. My HR department said that they would make reasonable accommodations by allowing me to work from home for 4 weeks. I'm hoping that the IVF treatment results in a pregnancy and if it does, where does that leave me? Since they said they would only accommodate for 4 weeks but due to health reasons my dr says 12 more weeks after that, does that force me to use FMLA? Then what happens when I am unable to travel at the end of my or after the baby arrives?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

This isn't a real estate question, but I live in Colorado. I work remotely, my company is based in Minnesota.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

A request for reasonable accommodation.

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/13/2018
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10,381
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No, I don't mind.

Would you be able to tell me if your employer hat least 50 employees within 75 miles?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
they have over 200 employees

Ok, cool. Just so I'm clear, you're wondering if the IVF works, will the company be required to give you FMLA? Or is it after the baby is born?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Well, I guess I'm just wondering what are my rights as an employee. If my Dr says I can not travel what will be my options? If I use all of the FMLA what happens when the baby is born and I can't travel for 6 weeks.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I know there is a Pregnancy Disability Act, but am not sure how this applies to my job because of the travel requirement.

Understood. Ok, so this is a little bit of a tricky situation, but I can provide some guidance.

Under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) eligible employees may take up to twelve (12) weeks off of their position to care for themselves or a family member that is dealing with a serious health condition. The employee is entitled to return to their same or similar job. A family member does not include in-laws, but does include a spouse and a child. or a parent. An eligible employee is one that has worked for their employer for the past twelve (12) months and has worked at least 1,250 hours in those past twelve (12) months. The employer must also be covered under FMLA before they are required to provide FMLA leave. A covered employer typically only has to have at least fifty (50) employees within a seventy-five (75) mile radius for at least twenty (20) workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year. Also, an employer is required to provide employees with notice of their rights under the FMLA And is required to provide you with notice of your FMLA rights when they have knowledge of a triggering event. The ADA also requires an employer provide reasonable accommodations to employees that need it if they have a disability.

So, in your case, the main issue is whether getting IVF treatment is considered a disability. Although the doctor is restricting travel, I'm not sure if there are any cases that have addressed a voluntary procedure like this. I would like to believe that a court would consider this to be a disability, meaning that the employer is required to provide at least reasonable accommodations. The employer can suggest FMLA to you as well, but you're only allowed 12 weeks per year, notwithstanding any local leave laws. So, if you take the FMLA time now, you can use up six weeks now and use up six weeks after the baby is born if that would be of some help.

Does that make sense?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
but that still doesn't cover the 12 weeks that my doctor reccommends no travel during the first trimester, plus after the baby arrives. Can they fire me if my Dr states that I have a health condition which would cause air travel to be harmful to my pregnancy?

So, the only reason they could fire you is if they a) made every attempt at a reasonable accommodation and b) these accommodations still don't allow you to perform your job functions. So, if you are grounded for several months, the company is required to at least do what they can to help you out; however, if it doesn't work out, then they can terminate. They can't terminate you just because you're undergoing the treatment. There has to be an underlying, non-discriminatory reason. This is the case whether you are or aren't on FMLA. So long as you're dealing with a disability, they can only terminate if you absolutely can't do your job.

Does that clarify it?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
It helps

Good news. The main thing that needs to happen is that you should try to stay out of FMLA for as long as possible and try to get the necessary reasonable accommodations. If you must, then use your FMLA which can help protect you for up to 12 weeks, but continue to work with your employer. Be sure to remind them that you're capable of doing the job and that just because you are getting/are pregnant, like any other working woman may become, that it makes sense to work together. What other questions did you have for me regarding this?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No, thank you.

Thanks so much.

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