Diabetes and Family Medical Leave Act

By marla3300 Latest Reply 2008-12-09 16:10:02 -0600
Started 2008-12-08 20:24:41 -0600

I would like to know if anyone else has issues with their employers. My employer is getting ready to terminate me. I have worked there for over 13 years and have had to use the Family Medical Leave Act since the birth of my son. They have always given me some type of grief over having to take off time to take care of my son.
Last week I asked to use the FMLA to take time off for my own health issues. Today I received a hand delivered letter from my department’s Director advising me to attend a Pre-Termination hearing on Wednesday.
Now I have never had any issues or write ups for over 13 years, until my direct supervisor retired and now I have a much younger supervisor. He has told me in my position; I should not take time off from work. My position was too important. The day I returned to work after taking FMLA, he issues me two written warnings.
Now I have been, according to this letter, accused of,
Incompetence or inability to perform the duties required
Misconduct in office
Conduct discrediting the County
Poor performance of my work
Not having the technical skills to perform my job duties.
They listed no details on any of these, they informed me this is what the “Pre-Termination” hearing is to discuss, and however in their letter I am expected to defend myself. How can I defend myself if I don’t know the details?
What would you do? Have anyone of you faced these types of issues?

9 replies

kdroberts 2008-12-09 16:06:18 -0600 Report

You're in a bind. First thing you need to do is postpone the meeting. 1 day is not enough time for them to give and the only reason they are doing it is so you have no time to prepare. Not really sure how you go about doing that though. You need to call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) ASAP. That's the American Diabetes Association. They are open until 8:00pm eastern. Ask for the advocacy department. They have lawyers and such that can help. If you can get it drawn out into 2009 then you will be covered by the new Americans With Disabilities Amendment Act that was passed a couple of months ago.

Don't go it alone and don't be bullied. The ADA gets a lot of negative comments but advocacy is one of the places where it can and does do a very good job.

Anonymous 2008-12-09 15:54:40 -0600 Report

I personally would contact your local chapter of the American Diabetes Association and ask their advice. If You are from a small town then contact the one closest to you in your state. They may have attorneys on staff that could advise you.

John Crowley
John Crowley 2008-12-09 15:41:52 -0600 Report

I agree that having an attorney involved is a good idea. Also, you have a right to bring with you any and all documentation that shows your performance in the job. Any yearly review you've had, any commendations or awards you've received, any documentation of training you've received will be essential to establishing that you haven't had any performance issues.

The reason an attorney is important is that he will know more about the specifics of FMLA. You will absolutely have to establish that you followed what was required of you in the law.

Best of luck.

marla3300 2008-12-09 16:10:02 -0600 Report

John, they have not given me any details as to what these charges are based on, or I would be able to be prepared, and be able to bring in documentations like you suggested. They explained to me this was a Pre-termination hearing and there for they did not have to give me any explanation as to what they have against me. Once I know them I will be able to defend myself. This I think is very unfair. They get to basically tell me what they think I did wrong and I have to pull out of the air information to defend myself.
My husband is going to go in with me, this they will allow. I plan on bringing in a tape recorder and advise them I will be recording the hearing. I will give them notice I am still under a doctor’s care, and our on FMLA. I our opinion I am in no shape to defend myself. However; I will listen to what they have to say, and if I can answer their questions I will, if I can’t because of my illness, it will have to wait until I am able to. Also, I will request to access my computer at work to look for any documentation to prove their allegations’ invalid. If they refuse to allow me access to my work computer, than I will state for the record anything they obtain from my computer or from their computer systems I will also conceder invalid and possibly forged. And then end the conversation. If they fire me during FMLA, and because they don’t like my answers, I have just one more straw to add for my EEOC complaint I have filed against them.

ancoto 2008-12-09 00:43:21 -0600 Report

I will keep you in my prayers. I would definatley get a lawyer involved in this. Good Luck

2008-12-08 22:04:13 -0600 Report

Wow Marla that really stinks. A new supervisor could get himself sued or canned himself if he's not careful.. FMLA is a federal program that entitles you to 12 weeks per year of unpaid leave. If he's making up reasons to terminate you and has no positive proof of any of it, then he is the one making a huge mistake. Keep very good documentation on any conversations that you have or had with him and what was said and what tone. A lawyer sounds like a good idea but it might be difficult to find one on short notice. Your doctor can be your advocate also so keep that line of communication open.

Good luck hon, I've never experienced that kind of treatment but I know about FMLA, there are also other laws regarding discrimination and disability and yes Diabetes is listed on that disability list. Please find out more about that too. Your local chapter of the American Diabetes Association may be of some help to you there.


caragypsy 2008-12-08 20:51:47 -0600 Report

Do you know a lawyer or can you git one to go to the meeting with you? Cara

marla3300 2008-12-08 21:24:34 -0600 Report

I am attempting to do this right now.
Since I have such a short time, and most attorneys in the area are afraid to go up against the County Court, I don't know if I can find one in time.
I do plan on asking my Doctor to write my employer a letter explaining why I can't attend this hearing now and they will have to wait until I am well.

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