Being Disciplined for Being Sick?

If I have completed my 1 yr probationary period at a company, and there was no notice prior to this or on the date that I had completed my probationary period given to me that my attendence had become a problem, could they discipline me for attendences in the past; a month and a half after my 1yr was met? The company is extending my probationary stage due to the fact that I had 3 absences in a 3 month period. All of these absences were medically documented and i had presented necessary documentation for them at the time of occurrence. I am on FMLA now due to a serious health condition. By extending my probation, they are saying that I do not qualify for short-term or long-term disabiity.
Is it legal for the Company to use medically excused absences (3 in a 3 month period) to discipline me? Do I have any legal recourse in this matter?
Thank you.

1 answer  |  asked May 26, 2001 7:04 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
Your employer may be interferring with your benefits.


This sounds fishy. First, did the company tell you beforehand that your absences could extend your probation? Second, did the company extend your probation, before or after learning that you had a serious health condition or would use short term disability (STD) benefits?. Third, did the company extend the probation of other employees with a similar absenteeism track record?

Depending on these and related answers, you may have claims involving the FMLA and ERISA. ERISA is a federal law that requires employers to make benefits available according to the plan's terms.

You should find out exactly what the short term disability (STD) benefits are. To do this, ask your employer for a copy of the short term disability policy. You are entitled to this. See who is covered. It is possible that you are covered after a specific period of time, regardless of your probationary status.

Once you have this information, you should see an attorney. We are in your back yard. We offer an initial consultation for $200.00. You can learn more about our consultation policy at

(copy and paste that link in your address bar).

If you are intersted, call Rhonda at 330.665.5445, ext. 0.

Best regards,


posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  May 27, 2001 5:07 PM [EST]

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