What if your medical condition requires a longer absence than the 12 week FMLA allows?

My husband was hospitalized with a heart attack and after doing a heart cath, found that he would require open heart surgery. Because they gave him a blood thinner upon arriving at the hopital, they had to wait an additional 5 days to do surgery. This meant that he was 9 days into his FMLA leave even before surgery. Then, after surgery he developed double pnomonia as well as a staff infection in the leg they removed the veins from. It has been a very slow recovery and in 10 days his FMLA time will be expired. He really needs an additional 2-3 weeks for recovery but his employer has said that if he doesn't come back as scheduled, they will terminate his position and may or may not hire him back when he is able to return to work. Does he have a legal leg to stand on since it is only a couple of weeks that he needs or is he just out of luck? Thank you in advance for your answer.

2 answers  |  asked Feb 16, 2011 6:21 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (2)

Neil Rubin
This message is not meant to: 1) contain my signature; 2) contain legal advice; 3) create an attorney/client relationship; or 4) guarantee confidentiality.

I would agree with Bruce in that if you consult with an employment lawyer, this person can assess whether or not your husband's FMLA leave was administered correctly by his employer. (eg. applied it equally among all the employees, counted the time correctly, or used other PTO in lieu of FMLA). And then suggest options to perhaps convince the employer to keep him on.

Since this is a very important issue in your lives a consultation is indicated.

posted by Neil Rubin  |  Feb 17, 2011 3:02 PM [EST]
Bruce Elfvin
The FMLA was the result of compromises that would address most, but not every or all situations. The employer is only required to hold a job for the 12 weeks. It can allow more, and may have under short or long term disability policies so you need to explore your options.

It may be useful to consult with an employment lawyer near you. You can find one at www.oelasmart.net/directory

posted by Bruce Elfvin  |  Feb 17, 2011 07:03 AM [EST]

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