Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest Chris3251

FMLA Retaliation

Recommended Posts

Guest Chris3251

OMG I must have spent an hour on this post only to hit the wrong button and lose it all!! I'm just gonna give the abbreviated version.

I am a 41 y/o single mom from Ohio. My daughter was admitted into the hospital from 6/20-6/29 in serious condition. I was approved for FMLA which covered the hospitalization as well as intermittent FMLA @ 2 days a week. I returned to work on 7/2 then had to call off on 7/10 when she started getting sick again which was covered under the intermittent. No attendance problems prior to this. I have my own FMLA case in which at the beginning of the year I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. I was approved for intermittent as well; however, I make all of my appointments during MY time, very rarely does it cut into work time.

I work for a large call center which is notorious for its cliques. I am not part of this clique. I was recruited by the company, I was not looking for a job when they sought me out. In my professional career I have never gotten into any type of trouble, I have won awards and always received high marks on annual reviews.

My managers had a meeting with me on 7/11 which was all one sided and they did not stop until they totally degraded me and had me in tears. My VP was not there and there was no HR representation. In short, I was yelled at, insulted, and told that I need to stop taking off work. When all this happened, they shared no details with anyone, just that I was out of the office. They told me that my peers and my team want nothing to do with me. I was told in the next dept. meeting that I am to publicly thank my peers for "picking up my slack", I was told I was a major disappointment, that I'm not the leader they need because I've had to miss, that I've totally destroyed my team and I'd better stop missing work. They then said "you can submit your resignation and we'll part friends". I turned that one down.

The week that I returned I was scheduled to work the 4th of July as well as the weekend. Since I'm salary I don't get overtime so we have to take "comp days" which I did. I was told that I had alot of nerve taking comp time since I had just been out, that I didn't deserve it and that I need to come in this weekend since Icalled off FMLA 1 day this week. It's my understanding that with FMLA, it is not required that the time be made up nor can they take this kind of action for FMLA approved absences. (And all of these statements made are VERBATIM - I am not rephrasing anything).

I was also told I'd better watch my back because they'll be watching me closely - and they are. They are absolutely on a witch-hunt. Between that and the horrible things said to me, I'm an emotional wreck. I've had several anxiety attacks, I cry most of the day and when I'm not I'm fighting it. I cry on the way home. I cry myself to sleep. I cry in the shower because I dread the day at work, worrying about whether my belongings are going to be in cardboard boxes when I get to work.

Again, this is just the abbreviated version so there are details missing, but hopefully I've covered the highlights. I had to call our Benefits hotline to ask some questions about my FMLA cases and they told me that I absolutely need to contact my HR manager about all this. They feel that the company is violating FMLA but didn't give specifics. I've requested a meeting with HR but at the same time I'm TERRIFIED that it will result in even more retaliation - all this over an Act that is supposed to protect your job, not threaten it. I'm just trying to understand what kind of recourse I have or if any of the things said / done by my managers is unacceptable. My peers are being very cold towards me and my managers have done nothing to back up or explain why I was out so I feel they have created a hostile work environment. Plus they've told my associates that if I can't be there then I have no business putting anyone on corrective action - they actually tore up a written warning I had done on one of my people for unacceptable work performance - and they tore it up in front of her. So to her that simply said she can do whatever she wants and if I try to take action all she has to do is go running to my manager. Another of my people told me that she was told by my manager to go to her if she needed something. That just makes me look bad as well. What they dont realize is I keep copies of everything so I can show that the corrective action was legitimate. And I've also documented everything that has occurred recently.

We have several locations and I feel my working relationship with the managers and some of my peers is completely destroyed because of the hostility. I just want to transfer to at least a different location, but my year isn't up until January and I know I won't last that long. Even if I don't find another job, I'm sure they'll find a reason to fire me whether its justified or not. I just need some advice. I don't know if this kind of behavior is allowed or what I should do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Chris3251
OMG I must have spent an hour on this post only to hit the wrong button and lose it all!! I'm just gonna give the abbreviated version.

I am a 41 y/o single mom from Ohio. My daughter was admitted into the hospital from 6/20-6/29 in serious condition. I was approved for FMLA which covered the hospitalization as well as intermittent FMLA @ 2 days a week. I returned to work on 7/2 then had to call off on 7/10 when she started getting sick again which was covered under the intermittent. No attendance problems prior to this. I have my own FMLA case in which at the beginning of the year I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. I was approved for intermittent as well; however, I make all of my appointments during MY time, very rarely does it cut into work time.

I work for a large call center which is notorious for its cliques. I am not part of this clique. I was recruited by the company, I was not looking for a job when they sought me out. In my professional career I have never gotten into any type of trouble, I have won awards and always received high marks on annual reviews.

My managers had a meeting with me on 7/11 which was all one sided and they did not stop until they totally degraded me and had me in tears. My VP was not there and there was no HR representation. In short, I was yelled at, insulted, and told that I need to stop taking off work. When all this happened, they shared no details with anyone, just that I was out of the office. They told me that my peers and my team want nothing to do with me. I was told in the next dept. meeting that I am to publicly thank my peers for "picking up my slack", I was told I was a major disappointment, that I'm not the leader they need because I've had to miss, that I've totally destroyed my team and I'd better stop missing work. They then said "you can submit your resignation and we'll part friends". I turned that one down.

The week that I returned I was scheduled to work the 4th of July as well as the weekend. Since I'm salary I don't get overtime so we have to take "comp days" which I did. I was told that I had alot of nerve taking comp time since I had just been out, that I didn't deserve it and that I need to come in this weekend since Icalled off FMLA 1 day this week. It's my understanding that with FMLA, it is not required that the time be made up nor can they take this kind of action for FMLA approved absences. (And all of these statements made are VERBATIM - I am not rephrasing anything).

I was also told I'd better watch my back because they'll be watching me closely - and they are. They are absolutely on a witch-hunt. Between that and the horrible things said to me, I'm an emotional wreck. I've had several anxiety attacks, I cry most of the day and when I'm not I'm fighting it. I cry on the way home. I cry myself to sleep. I cry in the shower because I dread the day at work, worrying about whether my belongings are going to be in cardboard boxes when I get to work.

Again, this is just the abbreviated version so there are details missing, but hopefully I've covered the highlights. I had to call our Benefits hotline to ask some questions about my FMLA cases and they told me that I absolutely need to contact my HR manager about all this. They feel that the company is violating FMLA but didn't give specifics. I've requested a meeting with HR but at the same time I'm TERRIFIED that it will result in even more retaliation - all this over an Act that is supposed to protect your job, not threaten it. I'm just trying to understand what kind of recourse I have or if any of the things said / done by my managers is unacceptable. My peers are being very cold towards me and my managers have done nothing to back up or explain why I was out so I feel they have created a hostile work environment. Plus they've told my associates that if I can't be there then I have no business putting anyone on corrective action - they actually tore up a written warning I had done on one of my people for unacceptable work performance - and they tore it up in front of her. So to her that simply said she can do whatever she wants and if I try to take action all she has to do is go running to my manager. Another of my people told me that she was told by my manager to go to her if she needed something. That just makes me look bad as well. What they dont realize is I keep copies of everything so I can show that the corrective action was legitimate. And I've also documented everything that has occurred recently.

We have several locations and I feel my working relationship with the managers and some of my peers is completely destroyed because of the hostility. I just want to transfer to at least a different location, but my year isn't up until January and I know I won't last that long. Even if I don't find another job, I'm sure they'll find a reason to fire me whether its justified or not. I just need some advice. I don't know if this kind of behavior is allowed or what I should do.

(bump)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gizmo's post is spam and inaccurate.

Since this is an old post, I wonder if we will get any follow-up.

FMLA makes it unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided under FMLA; or to discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by FMLA or for involvement in any proceeding under or relating to FMLA.

If you feel your rights under FMLA laws have been denied, address the matter with your employer in writing. If you are not satisfied with your employer's actions or decisions with regard to your FMLA claim, you have the right under the law to file a complaint with the state or the U.S. Department of Labor or bring a lawsuit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Chris3251

Thank you for your response GMK. I was pretty baffled by gizmo's post. I'm glad you cleared that up for me.

Since I made my original post, it wasn't long afterwards when I was fired. I had no chance. My daughter (a minor) had to have someone with her around the clock when she got out of the hospital. Her doctor submitted what they needed, he wanted me out with her for 6-8 weeks but I talked him down to 4 weeks because I was worried for my job. When I went through the process of getting it approved, the response I got from the employer was "isn't she old enough to take care of herself?" WOW.

When I returned to work, I was told I had 1 month to get caught up & running the team on my own again. I had a "lead" who ran the team in my absence & was to help with the transition. Unbeknownst to me, I was sending out daily reports, feedback, etc. not knowing that the "lead" was duplicating everything I was doing. I only found out when I was asked by one of my reps why they were receiving duplicates of everything. This person knew I was under a 30 day deadline to resume the team so I had to ask her to not duplicate my work because I didn't want management thinking I wasn't ramping back up...only to find out that management was approached by "someone" & was told they were still doing my work (I found out this person was trying to get promoted because of rumors that his/her position was being eliminated and he/she didn't want to go back to his/her old job). I asked that management or HR question everyone to confirm they were getting everything x2 but they wouldn't do it. Regardless of all the bad feelings, I felt I was seriously wronged. I consulted with 3 different attorneys and was told FML lawsuits were very difficult for the employee to win & it wouldn't be worth the time or effort. Then I was told word had gone around that if I filed unemployment that management would fight it & they felt I had no chance of winning. Little did they know I had detailed notes from all meeting conversations that took place so I had all the verbal threats, insults and ultimatums - verbatim with a timeline of events and documentation to support my statements. For anyone familiar with the unemployment process, it's not just he-said / she-said and from my previous experience, the employer nearly always won. I filed for unemployment though, they wanted a hearing to have it denied so I had my 10 page response prepared, sent it in, the hearing took place and I won. The response I received was that the employer did not prove a credible case and that I was undoubtedly, wrongfully terminated. When it was all said and done I remained on unemployment for 2 years...I hope it was worth their efforts. I was able to take some time to consider all my options, do some soul searching, I decided I'd had enough of the rat race so I relocated back to where I grew up. I sure don't miss the cut-throat, back-stabbing work environment, I am doing similar work now and for the first time in several years I can say I absolutely LOVE my job. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the update, Chris.

Glad to hear you're in a better place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...