Do I have to take FLMA?

By GabriellaBeth Latest Reply 2014-05-09 16:12:54 -0500
Started 2014-05-07 21:19:33 -0500

I know, I know. This is the opposite of what most people want.

I've had diabetes for years and it's very well controlled, but some days are rough days. Not usually, though. I have been with my current employer for almost a year and a half now, and one day last year I had to come in about an hour late due to battling high levels the night before and being wiped out. Last Friday, I asked to go home around 11 am because my levels were high and I needed to deal with it. So today I get paperwork telling me they are going to count that as FMLA leave.

The issue is that my husband and I are TTC and I don't want to count that as FMLA time because I want to use FMLA for maternity leave. I have ample sick and vacation time (my employer requires FMLA and paid leave run concurrently), and I want it to be treated just like any other illness, but they are requiring me to complete the forms. They aren't asking for medical verification or I would just refuse to provide it. I even tried the "use the absence when considering my performance" "I don't want protections under FMLA for this" path and it doesn't seem like I have a choice.

I have been trying to find something concrete. It does honestly feel like discrimination. If I had just said, "I don't feel well; I need to go home", they wouldn't be able to require me to do this, but because I said, "My blood sugar is really high and I need to go home and deal with it", I have to use FMLA? And if I do that I have to count every doctor's appointment as FMLA, but people with other issues don't? That doesn't seem to be what the law was designed to do.

3 replies

Nick1962 2014-05-09 16:12:54 -0500 Report

How many days out of the year are “rough days” that you’ve missed all or a portion of a day for?
I think once you stated your levels were high (versus “I don’t feel well”), you pretty much labeled your condition as a “chronic serious health condition” under the terms of the FMLA (see “Serious Health Condition” in the link)
Rather than come in late or leave early and just “deal” with the issues at home, you may want to see your doctor about getting it controlled if you can. This way, at least it looks like it’s just a one-time occurrence and not going to be a chronic issue and they may re-think their position.
You do however (as I understand it being previously in management) have to provide medical verification to be eligible for FMLA. Bottom line, if you continue to cite blood sugar levels as a reason to be out, they’ll call it a chronic condition, but count your blessings they’re even making the offer.

Silicone eyes
Silicone eyes 2014-05-08 16:05:43 -0500 Report

I think even though FMLA is Federal, paid time off is State. My employer is pretty flexible and understanding, but our FMLA is administered through an outside benefits provider, I was required to use all accrued PTO before my short term disability would kick in when I had my eye surgeries, but we don't get paid for any FMLA time. I had short term and long term disability, PTO, UPTO, and FMLA, each one with their own angle. Good luck sorting it out.

jayabee52 2014-05-08 13:26:26 -0500 Report

Howdy Gabriella
Unless there is a lawyer on here on DC who handles employment law, I am afraid you may not find a good answer to your questions. I would say that your best bet is to go to a law firm which has someone well versed in employment law to take a look at your case to determine if this is discrimination or this is something they can lawfully require of you. .

I pray you find the answers for which you seek

James Baker