Recent Work Issues Update...

By MerGirl Latest Reply 2012-12-23 13:24:36 -0600
Started 2012-12-19 13:19:26 -0600

Ok…so the issues I was having at work, where they wanted me to leave the building or go to a public restroom to check my sugars has escalated. I ended up going on Short Term Disability in June, for 26 weeks (which they ended up running concurrent with my FMLA). So since I didn't know that I had STD available to me, I ran out of FMLA in July. I then get a msg from HR stating that they are replacing my position, because they were so busy (about a week later they start laying more people off, due to lack of work). As I keep getting paychecks from said company, I get another letter saying that they can put me elsewhere in the company when I am able to return to work on or before my STD runs out. It has exhausted as of 12/15/12. They then tell me that they have no place to put me, if I want my job back, I will have to reapply via, and will lose my medical benefits. I was an "exemplary employee" for almost 7 years at this company, and now I am very stressed about what I should do, but have NO clue where to start. I was told to seek a labor law attorney, but have no money to pay for consultations. Ugh. I never wanted it to turn out like this. :(

12 replies

kdroberts 2012-12-21 22:18:43 -0600 Report

Unfortunately it doesn't sound like you have any recourse. FMLA protects you somewhat, you are guaranteed a job of the same level if you return the day after it ends. Since your FMLA ran out there was no obligation for your employer to hold your job and since almost all states are at will employment they can let you go for no reason. The ADA accommodation would have helped day to day but not in terms of job security.

It does suck but I don't think there is a whole lot you can do about it now.

Lizardfan 2012-12-21 14:34:04 -0600 Report

Do you have the ADA accomodation on file at work for your diabetes?

MerGirl 2012-12-21 21:29:24 -0600 Report

I've never heard of an "ADA accommodation" to have at any job? What is this?

Lizardfan 2012-12-23 13:06:48 -0600 Report

Americans with Disablilities Accomodation. I had one at my job that allowed me to test whenever necessary, treat my blood sugar as needed even if I already had my break or lunch etc. Also, if diabetes affected my illness when I had the flu or something I did not have those times off count as absences. Doctor visits were all approved without question if regarding my diabetes. I kept one on file every 6 months updating it etc. Protects you from discrimination regarding diabetes. Priceless! I am retired now so have no clue what the process is now, perhaps someone else can help you with that.

jaf76 2012-12-20 14:47:23 -0600 Report

Hello just wanted to comment on your post. I have had the same situation happen to me twice. I was let go from a place where I was there for seven years. I did anything and everything for this company. I got really sick and at first my wife thought that I was having a stroke so she had me in the hospital. My employer terminated me two Weeks later. I was in the hospital for a week with no clue what went on. I didn't know at the time that I was diabetic. They told me I was terminated because I didn't call in and didn't turn in my FMLA soon enough. I didn't know how I could call in when I didn't even know who I was. My second hospital stay was this October. Again same symptoms and again lost my job. My new doctor was the one who told me I was diabetic. His words were,"Wow you're really diabetic". Yeah my doc gets excited when he figures things out. But anyway a neighbor of mine told me to contact my Attorney General because you do have rights when this sort if things happen. I actually filed a claim and am in the process of a return letter. I would say to do the same thing in your state. Make sure to list everything important regarding your job and everything about those letters and what they said to you. Then ask on the email that you would like this to be investigated. They will get back to you on it. I wish you the best if luck hun. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

MerGirl 2012-12-20 15:44:59 -0600 Report

Thank you, Jaf. We'll see what may come of this. I'll check into it. Merry Christmas to you too!

Nick1962 2012-12-19 16:17:32 -0600 Report

Thanks for this update, I’ve been wondering how it turned out. I’m sorry it has turned to this.
It sounds as if they wanted you or your position gone for some reason. It may not have been you personally; it could have been to cut costs for your position. If you were as good as you say you were, it’s possible they were paying you more than they wanted to for your position. Many firms try to run with less skilled labor to keep costs down. As a previous manager, I hate to admit this but I have had good employees that I prayed would quit because they were just eating up salary, and I couldn’t give them decent raises because they were at the top of their range for their position. Is it possible you financially outgrew yours?
I can’t see any reason they can fire you for, but the FMLA and STD was a convenient way for them to make things difficult enough for you to want to quit. Hiring an attorney won’t produce anything positive in my opinion, because frankly, do you really want to work somewhere that treats employees this way, and it’s pretty clear by their tactics they’ve got themselves covered.
This might just be a blessing in disguise. A chance for you to go somewhere more rewarding. Go ahead and reapply with them (if only just to say you followed their rules should things get “attorney messy”), who knows, you might even wind up with something better. I think I’d take this as my cue to move on and look for a new job though.

MerGirl 2012-12-19 18:04:44 -0600 Report

Thank you, Nick. As I used to be a Team lead for / m1// years and a Supervisor as well I guess I always knew this subconsciously, but it hadn't occurred to me through everything I'm currently going through. I have a sort of "legal advisor", who told me that legally, if they were to hire me back, they would have to hire me back with the same rate of pay and medical benefits. But you have she's the light that maybe I was needing to hear from someone else? I do appreciate your honesty. It kind of adds just a little relief. It's daunting, however to think of having to start all over again, after the company had enabled me to purchase my first house, and needing my pay for the truck I bought, right before I was in an accident that totaled my previous car. I know I'll pull through one way or another, with the help from my fiancé. It is what it is, I guess…but extremely disheartening.

Nick1962 2012-12-19 21:04:40 -0600 Report

Technically, from my unerstanding you are still employed by them through the FMLA regs, but should you reject any position they now offer, it's considered quitting. Don't quote me, check it out. At least you still have a foot in the door should you want it.
I've been on both sides of this fence. I gave up a 20 year career because there was just no "up" for me to move to anymore (I had already taken my supervisor's job). When i quit they seperated my duties between 3 newly created "team lead" positions, each of which they gave a 3% raise saving the company about $20K in my wages yearly. I also had several older people in positions for years who were very dependable, came in any time I needed extra help and just all around great employees. Trouble was i only had so much to give and due to their longevity, they expected a certain pay level. One or two decided it wasn't enough and went elsewhere (with no increase in pay), others stayed on at the same pay scale (as far as I know) well after I quit. I could have easily replaced them with conciensous college kids at nearly half their salary.
Don't take this personally, it was probably part of a wider corporate decision that you conveiniently fell into the cracks of. There are probably a few people who have had a few nights of sleeplessness because of the duties they were told to carry out. Yes, it will work out, and most likely for the better in the long run, I think you already know that, but I know it feels like a punch to the stomach right now. I know I was scared as crap when I changed careers at 38, but it was well worth that pain and anxiety.