I do not wish to use my FMLA time but my employer is forcing me to

I work for Albetsons Inc. I am on disability for stress unrelated to work. I turned in a doctors note to notify my company as such. I am collecting State disability. My employer had me fill out a form to request either a General Leave of Absence (GLOA) or Family and Medical Leave (FMLA). These to options were on one form. I put a line thru the FMLA portion and wrote N/A. I then filled out the GLOA portion and next to my signiture wrote "not applying for FMLA". I have since then received a letter from Albertsons granting my application for FMLA with a copy of a like form that I filled out (not the exact one I filled out) and in the employee signature part they have written Employer Designated. I called my Union and they told me that none of the other company's IE: Ralphs, Vons, Stater Bros. require this of their employees and they, the union, feel that it is not right, but that they cannot do anything about it. SO, here is my question, What if I DO NOT wish to use up my FMLA time and my employer is forcing me to? I after all did not apply for it. Thank You Cynthia Hussey

1 answer  |  asked Aug 25, 2001 7:02 PM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (1)

Janet M. Koehn

unless your union agreement allows you to defer fmla leave in favor of some other form of leave, your employer can designate your leave as fmla leave. you have notified your employer that you have a personal medical condition that prevents you from working, and have applied for sdi. it is the company's right to apply your fmla leave entitlement to such a situation.
stay in contact with your union, and if they choose to pursue a grievance on your behalf, they will argue your case for you. it appears they are concerned about this practice as being company-wide, so they may well pursue it.
there is nothing however, in the fmla (or the cal. family rights act) that prevents your company from designating your leave as fmla leave, and applying your leave entitlement to it.
good luck
janet koehn

posted by Janet M. Koehn  |  Aug 26, 2001 1:40 PM [EST]

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