Family medical leave act? — The Bump

Family medical leave act?

Hey ladies...I haven't posted in forever.  I hope all of you are doing well.  I had a quick question that I was hoping someone would know the answer to. I've been working at my new job for 6 months.  I get 7 paid days off a year. DH had knee surgery last Thursday and after spending the night at Children's hospital, the doctors have decided to put tubes in his ears due to a severe ear infection that has lasted over a month and failed to respond to antibiotics.  He goes in for his pre-op tomorrow and surgery on Wednesday. His fever has remained high.  I called my HR manager and she said that this may not be a serious enough case to qualify for a week unpaid due to family medical leave.  I don't have enough paid days off accumulated to take the whole week off, and I have no one to take care of my kids with my husband completely immobile.  Do you think this case is enough to qualify to use a week of FML leave?  Thank you so much for your advice. 

Re: Family medical leave act?

  • EMTEMT member

    Hi there!  The kids are so cute and big!!

    I would think your DH having surgery would be serious enough to qualify for FML???  I mean it can be used to take care of a healthy newborn?  DH took some time off under FML when DS was born.  I think there is a wait week with FML though (i.e. the first week is unpaid).  So, maybe that wouldn't help?

  • Hey! How are you?  Your babies are so big and adorable!  I would love to meet up again.  I keep meaning to email you, but I lost your email address. How have you been? At this point, I'm not even concerned about the paid leave.  I would just rather take a week unpaid without them giving me a hard time about it or making me use any paid day off.  I have 3 days accumulated, but DH and I were planning on using it to go on a vacation for our anniversary.  There's no way that I'm going to go to work though while DS is in the hospital.



  • I think they do make you use any vacation days you have before the leave kicks in.  I also think you have to be at your job for at least a year to qualify?  I'm not entirely sure but I've heard this is the case...

    Good luck!  Do you have any sick days?  Maybe you could use those?

  • There is no such thing as a serious enough case to qualify. If you have a medical doctors excuse then you qualify. that is BS
  • They do make you take any vacation/sick/pto days before the FMLA kicks in. Not sure how long you have to be at a job though.

    Good luck!

  • You may not qualify for FMLA at all if you haven't been there for a full year yet.

    I would get something written from DH's doctor stating that he will be unable to work/incapacitated (however they decide to word it) for a week and go back to HR. See if they would allow you to take a personal LOA or just take a week unpaid.

    Good luck!

  • My understanding is also that you have to be at the job for a year before you qualify. Do you have an HR department you could contact?
    Alex (11/14/06) and Nate (5/25/10)
    "Want what you have, do what you can, be who you are." - Rev. Forrest Church
  • I think people are getting two things confused.  No employer is required to pay for FMLA--they are just required to save your job for you or provide you with an equivalent job upon your return.  It's actually short term disability that that pays your salary while you are on leave, and people are right, it usually doesn't kick in until the 11th day of your illness.  But since you are not the one who is ill, you wouldn't qualify for STD.  Unless your employer pays you out of the goodness of their heart, it most likely will be an unpaid leave for you.

    Here's the good news, FMLA has no waiting period--you are protected from the very first day you take your leave. (As long as notify them it is your intent to take FMLA and you initiate the paperwork immediately)  And I don't know of any employer in the world who would be dumb enough to take it upon themself to judge whether your loved one's medical condition is "serious" enough--they generally leave that up to the medical community.  If your doctor signs a letter stating that your child needs full time care by someone with full physical capability (ie-NOT your DH), then your employer is not in a position to dispute it.

    I bet your employer's legal representation would be flipping out if they new the HR person was making statements like this.  It sounds like your company needs to either train their HR person a little more or else tell her all FMLA questions need to be directed straight to the legal department.

    (I had a question regarding FMLA when I was PG.  I asked the HR rep at our local office and she gave me misinformation.  I forwarded her the case law supporting what I believed to be correct, which she verified with the corporate legal department.  Once they got wind of the misinformtion she had passed on to me, the VP of HR AND the VP of the legal department sent me a joint email saying that any future FMLA questions should be addressed directly to the legal department.)

  • Sorry, per the US Dept of Labor you must have been at your job 1 year to qualify.

    FMLA applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees. These employers must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for any of the following reasons:
    for the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee;
    for placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
    to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
    to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

    Employees are eligible for leave if they have worked for their employer at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles. Whether an employee has worked the minimum 1,250 hours of service is determined according to FLSA principles for determining compensable hours or work.

    Riley born 12/12/05 Malorie born 10/30/06 image
  • beanzer is right. Here's a snippet from the government's FAQ PDF on FMLA:

    In order to be eligible to take leave under the FMLA, an employee must (1) work for a covered employer, (2) work 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of leave, (3) work at a location where 50 or more employees work at that location or within 75 miles of it, and (4) have worked for the employer for 12 months. The 12 months of employment are not required to be consecutive in order for the employee to qualify for FMLA leave. The regulations clarify, however, that employment prior to a continuous break in service of seven years or more need not be counted unless the break in service is (1) due to an employee?s fulfillment of military obligations, or (2) governed by a collective bargaining agreement or other written agreement.

    Alex (11/14/06) and Nate (5/25/10)
    "Want what you have, do what you can, be who you are." - Rev. Forrest Church
  • I'm back because I was just thinking about the details of my own dispute with HR over FMLA.  When I was PG, my company was sold to a new owner and we all became employees of the new company.  I was told that because I was not an employee of the new company for the required year prior to taking leave, I did not qualify.  I hired an employment lawyer who found caselaw that determined that when the new company bought my employer, they aquired an "ongoing interest in my employment"--meaning that for the sake of FMLA, they had to count all of my years of service with the original employer, not just the time since the purchase.

    But if you were a brand new hire 6 months ago, I don't think you have enough service to your company to qualify for FMLA.  If you've been a good employee, I see no reason why they would want to get rid of you over a weeks leave--it would cost them way to much to fire you, replace you and train the new person.  I wwould skip dealing with the HR person who seems misinformed and not helpful.  Is there a manager you could appeal to, to help you get to the right person who could approve a personal leave?

  • You may not have to take a whole week off work.  I worked for an ENT and the kids were fine the next day.  I'm sure with the problems your little one has had it might take a couple of days though.

    In all the FMLA cases I've heard of they are required to take any existing vactaion, pto or sick days BEFORE FMLA kicks in. 

    Also, as several people have need to have been employed for at least a year. 

    You might be able to use your vacation days (and any sick days) to cover your days off?  I would just talk with your boss and see if taking 2 unpaid days off would be OK.  That would make up your week.

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