Asked for FMLA, told to just take time off, then disciplined

I informed my supervisor that my child, who had just had surgery,was going to need two more surgeries. Not being well informed at that time about FMLA rules, I asked my supervisor if I should go on FMLA or just use my accrued time as needed, working part-time. I am a salaried manager. My boss told me that HR said to just use my accrued time as needed, but to not tell anyone so they don't get jealous. I asked HR if there were such a thing as part-time FMLA, but he said no, that you had to take off full time for FMLA. After using my accrued time as needed to care for my son, HR suspended me for 3 days for excessive absenteeism. If it is past the 180 days, can this information be used inconjunction with other violations to show a pattern? Thank you!

2 answers  |  asked Jan 18, 2011 6:03 PM [EST]  |  applies to Illinois

Answers (2)

Stephen Glickman
FMLA may be taken in blocks or intermittently. If you are covered by the FMLA, you have the right to take intermittent FMLA leave. You do not have to take off full-time for FMLA. If the suspension was given to you in retaliation for your request for FMLA leave, or to interfere with your rights under the FMLA, the suspension is illegal.

posted by Stephen Glickman  |  Jan 19, 2011 10:26 AM [EST]
John Otto
First of all, there is no 180 day limitation for bringing a suit for FMLA violations. There is a 2-year statute of limitations. The 180 days is the time limit to complain to the Illinois Department of Human Rights for violations of the Illinois Human Rights Act. HR was wrong when they said that there is no such thing as part time FMLA. It's called intermittent leave and you do have a right to it. The difficulty here is that your supervisor is going to deny what he told you, as is the HR manager. Their written rules will probably set out the procedure to take FMLA leave. So you might not want to go to court, but get a copy of the FMLA statute and show it to HR and see if they will rescind the suspension. This sounds like a small place. Are you sure you are even covered by FMLA. The employer has to have 50 employees and you have to have worked 1,250 hours in the last 12 months to be covered. I hope this answers your questions.

posted by John Otto  |  Jan 18, 2011 8:17 PM [EST]

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