Harassed because using intermittent FMLA

I have a recently disabled son who at times needs my assistance. I applied for and received intermittent FMLA, allowing me to take a few hours off 3 or 4 days a month to help him, using a maximum of 16 hours of my accrued time. I have been employed by this employer for 22 years with excellent work record and evals. Since I have been on FMLA, life has changed. My boss hates FMLA and expects me to be at work "100%" of the time. Since I am an exempt employee on salary, I have offered to work longer days or come in on weekends to keep things running smoothly. This has been denied, saying it would "generate overtime"-but I don't get paid overtime.

Recently, things have escalated. I was called into a meeting with both HR and my boss to discuss the fact that the morale in my workplace was bad due to the fact that I was on intermittent FMLA and that I "need to do something about it". According to them, my coworkers feel like I am getting special treatment because of my leave. I am using my accrued time just like they do, only for a certain reason. Things are so bad now a small group of coworkers, some my subordinates, drive by my house after hours to see my son, I am not allowed the same working conditions as my coworkers, lies are being told about me to HR (I sleep on the job, I read magazines, I spend too much time when I use the bathroom, etc.) This would be laughable if it wasn't so stressful. I had an attorney who wrote letters to my employer, but nothing has changed. My evals are great, my work is considered to be excellent, just tired of the harassment. Do I have any options? There is a lot more to this that would take hours to tell.
Thank you

3 answers  |  asked Apr 13, 2010 03:03 AM [EST]  |  applies to Illinois

Answers (3)

Alejandro Caffarelli
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posted by Alejandro Caffarelli  |  Apr 20, 2010 06:52 AM [EST]
Ryan Nalley
However, termination is not necessary to constitute retaliation. And if I understand the question correctly they are forbidding her from taking her FMLA. It is true that it does not rise to constructive discharge and quitting would be to risky in my opinion, especially given the fact that they will probably fire you, and thus, your retaliation claim is that much stronger. What I mean is that if you think they are going to fire you, quitting would a bad strategic move, because it is generally easier to show retaliation when you have been actually fired--despite my previous comment.

Also, as I always say, you are not necessarily an exempt employee, and being paid a salary does not mean a great deal. You should read my website below for more information on that topic if the link does not work you can just Google Ryan Scoot Nalley. I should be clear that I cannot say whether you are exempt are not, I can can only say that the salary basis does not make you exempt in and of itself

I think you should just keep enforcing your rights until they make some pretext to fire you, which they will do. Feel free to call me to discuss the matter free charge at 773.621,6809. There many highly experienced lawyers on this sight that have much more experience in this than I, and you might do well to seek them out. Good luck


Ryan Scott NAlley


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posted by Ryan Nalley  |  Apr 13, 2010 05:28 AM [EST]
Attachment: free_flashpoints.doc
John Otto
Unfortunately, I don't see a whole lot you can do at this point. At this point, you still have your job and you haven't lost any money. If you get fired in retaliation for using FMLA, of course you can sue. If the harassment gets so bad that no reasonable person could stand it, I suppose you could quit and sue for constructive retaliatory discharge, but that would be pretty risky. There is certainly no guarantee that a court would agree that you had no alternative to quit. I'm afraid this answer is kind of lame, but the only thing I know is to have your lawyer keep writing letters, and, of course, document all the instances of harassment in case you eventually do get fired and get into litigation.

posted by John Otto  |  Apr 13, 2010 04:56 AM [EST]

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