April 2013 Moms

does this makes sense to ANYONE else!?

hey mommies!

these last two weeks have been really stressful for me mainly because i am preparing my paperwork for FMLA/STD.

here's the issue:

in speaking with my HR department, they have confirmed that my FMLA and approved STD will run concurrently. this i understand and am completely ok with. what i AM NOT OK with is that they are telling me that my accrued vacation & sick time run concurrently with my STD!

so for example, if i am approved for 6 weeks of STD and have accrued 3 weeks of vacation/sick time, i will receive 3 weeks of pay @ 100% and only 3 weeks od STD @ 60%.

 

how does this make any sense? why am i being penalized for saving up my time? nowhere in our employee handbook does it say this; only in the handbook does it mention that FMLA and STD run together and that while on FMLA i will need to use up my vacation time.

has anyone even heard of this policy? 

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Re: does this makes sense to ANYONE else!?

  • doesn't sound right - most companies i have worked for you use all accrued vacation, PTO, etc prior to STD (6 weeks) beginning.  
  • No, they cannot require you to use vacation time during FMLA.  However, you can choose to take it since you will be getting paid leave instead of unpaid.  

    If you are being paid your full salary as part of vacation time you are technically not entitled to STD, therefore it can't start until after you finish your vacation time, leaving you with 9 weeks instead of 6.

    FMLA does run concurrently with STD though.

    Be sure to check your local employment laws and then talk to your HR again.  Legally you are right, it makes no sense and they need to look again.


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  • Absolutely doesn't make sense, they can't "penalize" you for using FMLA & you should get vacation time in addition to FMLA 

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  • This has been such a headache of mine!  My company was just bought out and we currently do not have a Dir of HR, so I can't seem to get straight answers from anyone on my paperwork.
    That said, I was told that I cannot collect STD until I have used up all of my vacation and sick time.  Maybe that is what they are trying to say?  I was told in NJ, StD is state provided, not company provided, and there is a 14 day waiting period to collect.  During those 14 days, most ppl burn up their remaining time off and then collect the 6 weeks STD.
    Not sure if any of that applies... just thought I'd add my 2 cents...

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  • Actually that could be right. At my company we are selffunded for STD. So on maternity leave, if I choose to utilize STD I must first exhaust all of my sick time. So I have 2 weeks sick time. If my doctor says I am physically unable to work for 6 weeks and I want tp use STD, then the first 2 weeks will be sick time, then next 4 will be STD. After that the remaining time would be either vacation or unpaid. Not knowing the details about your organizations benefits, I can't be sure but it is quite possible that they are in the right here. It wouldn't hurt to look into it further and ask more questions.

    ETARequiring you to use paid time during FMLA at all is not right so that is fishy, but requiring it along with some STD is not. As long as they are doing it appropriately. Again, my company is selffunded for STD so how it is different then say AFLAC.
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  • I guess every insurance and policy is different but I work for a huge hospital 12,000 employees and in my policy it states "You are required to utilize accrued PTO extended illness bank hours for FMLA and STD leave. After EIB hours are exhausted, the employee will then revert to PTO hours for STD/FMLA leave." If employees don't have PTO, STD, or EIB then they will be placed on FMLA right away without any pay. I wasn't familiar with the extent of my policy until I started getting things ready.

  • Ours differs so much from many because we get Temp Disability in our state. But we are required to use 40hrs of PTO right off the bat then our TDI pays us for 5 weeks and it is supplemented by STD. Because we accrue time each month for PTO where I work, I will not be able to accrue any PTO while out on leave. For us FMLA only comes into play if we take time out AFTER the initial 6 weeks. We are allowed up to another 6 weeks but its unpaid. FMLA just secures our job for us for up to 12 weeks of leave.
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  • My company requires me to use 40 hours of sick and vacation time for the first week I'm gone because STD has a  day waiting period before it actually kicks in. However, I am able to use STD for the remainder of my leave and use my vacation and sick time to supplement the 40% of my pay that STD doesn't cover. Check with your HR again because from the way you described it in the first paragraph it sounds like that's really what should be happening with your leave as well not a 50/50 split between STD and vacation and sick time.
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  • Each state and each policy will be different. 

    There are two separate issues here.  FMLA requires that you be granted up to 12 weeks unpaid leave for family medical reasons per year, so long as your employer has over a certain number of employees and you have been a full time employee for at least a year.  These 12 weeks do not need to be continuous.  Having a baby is one of the approved reasons for this leave.  So, FMLA does not say anything about how PTO and STD work, because it is unpaid.

    PTO policies and STD policies: PTO is completely at the discretion of the employer and hopefully laid out in some sort of employee handbook to be as clear as possible.  STD policies are typically purchased through insurance carriers.  The details of those policies are negotiated between the company and the insurer. 

    At my last job, STD did not kick in until after 2 weeks, whether that was PTO or leave without pay was up to the company and whether the employee had enough PTO to cover that time.  After the two weeks the employee would receive 6-8 weeks of pay at 60% depending on the doctor's reasoning.  After that, any remaining PTO could be used. (although I negotiated full pay during my maternity leave during one of my annual reviews)

    At my current job, the company offers 2 weeks of parental leave, then STD at 60%, but with 30 days salary continuance.  After that time I will use any leftover PTO I have accrued.

    The difference between the two is in the details of the policies the employers purchased through the insurance companies.

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  • At my company, you have to code PTO for your first two weeks of leave (or go unpaid) before STD kicks in. Then, STD pays 60% until you are released by your doctor. After that, you can either take unpaid leave or code PTO and receive pay. Either way, all of this time counts toward your FMLA leave and FMLA starts on your first missed day.

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  • My policy at work is the same way, all sick and vacation must be exhausted before STD kicks in. Which is why it didn't make sense for me to save it for maternity leave. I've worked for several large companies and it's always been this way. 

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  • This policy exists at most companies I have worked for. Accrued sick time is used before STD kicks in. I have heard of it being optional to use the vacation time, but not the sick time.

     At least you have some sick/vaca for 100% pay! Those of us that were forced to change jobs have to cross our fingers and hope the 60% covers.

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  • My PTO is concurrent with my STD but my FMLA is not. 

    It is company policy and I looked into it in my state -NJ- and it basically says that it is up to the employer. So I have about 4 weeks of PTO that I am taking before the baby is born and the my STD for 6 weeks after and then my FMLA for 12 weeks after that.  

     

    Edit to clarify: I will not be able to collect STD while on PTO. It is just at the same time.  

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  • My company has the same policy.  I must use all vacation/sick time (I think I can save 16hours) before using the maternity leave benefits. 






  • I read on the fmla info website that they can do that. sorry :( its super sucky!

  • image brunstar:
    Actually that could be right. At my company we are selffunded for STD. So on maternity leave, if I choose to utilize STD I must first exhaust all of my sick time. So I have 2 weeks sick time. If my doctor says I am physically unable to work for 6 weeks and I want tp use STD, then the first 2 weeks will be sick time, then next 4 will be STD. After that the remaining time would be either vacation or unpaid. Not knowing the details about your organizations benefits, I can't be sure but it is quite possible that they are in the right here. It wouldn't hurt to look into it further and ask more questions. ETARequiring you to use paid time during FMLA at all is not right so that is fishy, but requiring it along with some STD is not. As long as they are doing it appropriately. Again, my company is selffunded for STD so how it is different then say AFLAC.

     

    This is my situation too--I have two weeks of sick time that I'm required to use (though get paid 100%) before STD kicks in at 60%.  I was really hoping that I could use my 2 sick weeks I've been saving and get 6 STD on top of that, or vice versa, but not how it works.  Definitely a bummer since I'll have to use vacay or go without pay for anything longer than 6 weeks. 


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  • I have no advice but I wanted to say it really doesn't sound right to me either. 
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  • thanks ladies!

    it seems as though no two companies are the same. there are so many holes in our employee handbook that the interpretation is confusing. we have our STD through CIGNA. i spoke to our rep and even she said that doesn't make sense or else i would be paid 160% of my salary!

    i think my company is trying to "save" on my disability by not granting me the whole 6 weeks @ 60%,

     

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  • image jrjl450:

    thanks ladies!

    it seems as though no two companies are the same. there are so many holes in our employee handbook that the interpretation is confusing. we have our STD through CIGNA. i spoke to our rep and even she said that doesn't make sense or else i would be paid 160% of my salary!

    i think my company is trying to "save" on my disability by not granting me the whole 6 weeks @ 60%,

    This is what I was trying to say.  They can't force you to take paid leave on FMLA and they can't have STD run concurrently with vacation/sick time.  If you are on vacation time you are not eligible for STD, as the rep said you would be getting 160% of your salary. They can have you use up accrued time, then go on STD, but they can't do it at the same time.


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