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Terminated for using FMLA

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To whom this May concern...

I am looking on feed back to find out if what my husband's employer did was legal. I am a terminally ill and disabled 38 year old female living in Cedar Rapids, IA.

We recently received word from our land lord out of the blue that we had a preliminary inspection coming up within 48 hours after the notice. My husband has never had a problem with using FMLA in the past. He has never abused FMLA nor has he constantly had to use it. Only if I have had doctor appointments then he does.

He also had 2.5 hours of paid sick time left for the year before his time re started and his sick time, personal time, etc. all renewed themselves. We only had 2 days to prepare for this preliminary inspection.

As stated above, I am terminally ill and disabled and am on oxygen full time. He told his job that he needed to use the rest of his sick time and use two of his FMLA time. He never ran out of FMLA at all because he used it sporadically.

His employer questioned the use of FMLA after never having done so in the past and told him it looked suspicious to use FMLA when he was sick. My husband is the type of person who never gets sick often but did as a result of emotional distress and duress.

When he returned to work on friday that week, his main boss came to him and told him that he was being asked to show up at what is known as downtown taj ma hal the begining of the following week. When he showed up at the meeting the following week, they questioned his need for FMLA which in Iowa is against the law to do. They told him that he was being put on administrative paid leave until they could figure out how to deal with the situation.

They called him in on Thursday the 24th of May and fired him for trying to take FMLA and said it was improper use of FMLA because it was helping me. They told him to get it priorties straight and that he shouldn't let his personal life interfere with his professional life working.

the problem is, that I have had multiple strokes, I have had several heart attacks, I have heart problems, and kidney failure and my lungs are failing. They told him that because our situation dealing with the land lord was not important enough to warrant time off and he misused FMLA and took time off he was not entitled to.

I cannot do alot of things for myself as a result of my health conditions and now after filing for unemployment, the school district is trying to fight my husband on unemployment benefits trying to say he's not entitled to them. He has a meeting this coming tuesday with the school district and law judge over the phone to determine if he is qualified for these benefits... (although I don't understand why he wouldn't be in the first place since he was fired wrongfully rather than a legitimate reason)

So I am wondering if I have an FMLA violation lawsuit case against the school district as well as a wrongful termination case against the school district for what they did to us. I would like people to give me some feed back. Please no mean or negative comments here. We need help and have to figure out what attorney to use if we do have a case. Thank you all for your feed back! Please note this information WILL be passed on to my husband.

By the way, my husband's employer tried to pry into my medical records to find out if FMLA leave was being used properly which we found out they cannot do without a subpeona and the HR has taken it upon herself to try and create a clause in the FMLA when applying for it in the school district that mandatory disclosure of medical records is necessary to qualify you for FMLA when they have never done that in the past. I don't think they can do that. I in my heart believe everything they have done is illegal and have had prior law suits before for medical related stuff. If you have been in this situation or can give me feed back on this, situation, please let me know. Thank you! P.S. our land lord is still holding the lease over our heads and now my husband has no job as a result of this surprise inspection. Is it legal for him to be fired for something beyond his control?

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This is a perfect question for the Department of Labor EBSA benefits advisors.

I agree.

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Does your husband have FMLA protection as a caregiver for you for your serious medical condition(s)? Has he gotten the required documentation from your doctors if he needs time off to help take care of your issues? Or does he have FMLA for his own serious medical condition? If he tried to use it under his own, I can see where they would think he was committing fraud because he wasn't sick himself, wasn't visiting a doctor, etc.

His sickness would need to rise to the level of a serious medical condition under FMLA for it to apply for him alone.

The actual law for care for a family member is in section 825.124 if you want to search the actual FMLA law. It speaks of both physical and psychological care of the sick person. Whether the need you had (land lord/rent inspection) falls under that is open to interpretation.

Actually employer's can ask why he is out to see if that time falls under the FMLA rules. They legally cannot apply FMLA protection to time that does not fall under FMLA because that would then take away time that would be protected later and the employee would get less than they deserve. If he took the time under FMLA and it is truly NOT FMLA, then they can discipline him for taking it, up to and including termination.

And usage of any sick leave he still had available depends on what the employer deems it can be used for. Some employers allow it to ONLY be used for actual sickness of the employee, others allow usage for family member sickness and some allow it to be use for pretty much any reason.

The best thing he can do is to consult an attorney local to your state that is familiar with FMLA matters.

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yes... He did have FMLA as a care giver on my behalf. I have multiple serious medical conditions that are life threatening and there was documentation on his personal file signed by my doctor stating I had to have a care giver. he used it sporadically and he is one who doesn't get sick very often. We both got sick as a result of duress and emotional stress caused by the situation we are dealing with. However, they tol him he needed to get his priorities straight and put his job first and that personal shouldn't interfere with work.

I am a FULL time oxygen user as well and have had previous heart attacks, strokes and am going through lung and kidney failure to name a few things amongst other things.

We have hired an attorney working with us in this situtation. The school district has faced law suits before for doing illegal things and to make matters worse the HR has an intimate relationship going on with the Higher up Buildings and ground manager to the point of leaving her current husband and children for. However she still has a job.

The school district also has an employee who is a wanted international fugitive on the run from the D.O.J, FBI, and INS.. however he still has a job and he's wanted for Geneocide. This doesn't make a lot of sense.

My husband was home caring for me in a family crisis and he looses his job. where is the justice in that. All the time he has ever had off for FMLA has been for me. They have never questioned it before. The only reason they asked is because a neighbor spied on us and reported that he wasn't at work during the time he was off. It was none of the neighbors business in the first place. This would not have happened had the neighbor not stuck his nose into business not pertaining to him.

I am also in the process of emailing my doctor to prepare a defense for him on his behalf. He also had a medical clearance at the day he lost his job stating he was under emotional stress which caused him to be sick. They still fired him for it. He even told them he was taking FMLA. The school district here is out for themselves. They don't care about anyone other than themselves. The school has also been in the news for embezzlement but the guy incharge of the money turned around to cover himself denied the allegations. There is alot of crooked stuff going on there and we have proof from other previous employees who used to work for them as well.

My husband didn't do anything wrong except be there to help me. A wanted fugitive still has a job. An HR person who has an affair with her boss higher up on the pay scale still has her job. My husband helps me out because of medical conditions, I'm limited in what I'm capable of doing of my life function. I'm fighting for my life and now my home... what more can a person be put through.

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