12 week leave of absence covered by FMLA verses Doctors orders to be off work for 19 weeks.

I had a health issue that my Doctor had me off work for, for aprox 19 weeks. I gave my employer the letter from the Doctor explaining the reason. My employer told me I HAD to fill out FMLA forms to cover 12 weeks that I'm off. I refused to because I knew I would be off longer. After about 2 and a half weeks of being told I HAD to, I signed the form but I wrote in it that I would be returning to work in aprox 19 weeks. When the Doctor released me to return to work my employer said I was discharged for not returning in 12 weeks. Is this legal. Was I really SUPPOSE to fill that form out like my employer stated? Would my Doctors orders to be off work for 19 weeks cover me since my employer knew when I would be back?

1 answer  |  asked Sep 2, 2011 10:49 AM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Bruce Elfvin
You should have filled in the FMLA paperwork, because the employer is able to count all time off due to self care issues under FMLA. Your difficulty is that the FMLA requires only that the employer place an employee back in their original position within 12 weeks or less of leave. Your issue took more weeks and depending on what the issue is or was your employer may be justified in terminating you.

You need to see an employment lawyer near you. You can select one at: www.oelasmart.net/directory

posted by Bruce Elfvin  |  Sep 2, 2011 11:52 AM [EST]

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