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Mj25

Anyone Know About Fmla?

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Hi,

I am just wondering if anyone is familiar with FMLA. I have applied for FMLA at work because I have been so sick. Some days are just too bad for me to make it to work. Anyway, my employer gave me a very hard time about it and now they have had their Lawyers contact me via certified mail telling me that I have to get a 2nd opinion by a physician of their choice. First of all...is this legal? Second, I have been on a gluten free diet now for almost a month (May 1 will be a month) so any tests that they do will be a false negative bc I don't have any gluten in my system, right? Also, I don't want to have to get another biopsy just because they don't believe the 2 physicians I have already seen, it just doesn't seem right. Does anyone know about this? Have any advice?

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I had FMLA before I learned I had celiac. I was in your boat, sometimes too sick to go to work. I got it because my supervisor suggested it, she knew I was trying to find out what was causing me to be sick, etc. The first time we applied HR refused it saying there was not much to go on, the 2nd time we better filled it out and my Dr explained more it was approved for a year. I found out I had celiac 2-3 months after it was approved and I only used it a few times after going gluten free, there were times when I was still learning and got glutened.

Not sure about the legal ends of it, I work in a hospital and I was using a physician in my facility.

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HI! I had FMLA fully approved for the full 12 weeks time the last 3 years that I worked for a major telecommunications company. Because we were unionized, I also received full pay for those FMLA

days, per the bargaining the union had done previously with the company.

I had my FMLA approved for Fibromyalgia. It listed pain, extreme exhaustion and very bad DIARRHEA. The only problems I had was our company people losing the paperwork........until I was transferred to

another office with a 2nd level manager who was a control freak. He didn't like the idea of somebody like me on the payroll getting off "scotfree".....ha! I'd like to give him my ailments! He had it in good with the nurses etc and had already gotten rid of my medical restriction (no overtime, no weekends, no heavy lifting, etc) but I didn't fight that chosing to pick my battles instead. While out of the blue I got a call from the FMLA nurses (I think they were our company people) requesting a 2nd opinion when I submitted my recertification (we had to recertify ever 6 months and I never had a problem before). They set everything up for me, going to see a "3rd party doctor" and I got company paid time to go for that 2nd opinion and they had to pay for it all. Luckily for me, they didn't have that doctor in their pocket and he agreed with my Fibro doc and I continued to recertify for the full FMLA time. One point for me. Before I agreed to go to that 2nd opinion, I DID check with my local union steward and he said that they could do it. Well, he was wrong, at least per the FMLA paperwork that I had at the time....I found in writing that the only thing that my supervisors would request of the FMLA people was to verify if I was propertly certified for it. He couldn't even know WHY I had the FMLA.......unless I chose to make him privy to that info and of course I did not. Now several years later when I mentioned to our National level union health coordinator that I went for the 2nd opinion, she told me that I was stupid for doing so, that it was illegal. I don't know if it's only illegal per our union contract or for FMLA......I think for FMLA laws period but I don't know where my paperwork is anymore. I don't get to the library that often on the computer here but I'll see if I can find anything at home. Also please note that per FMLA laws, your employer can NOT take disciplinary action against you for being absent FMLA days nor can it show up in your records as a boo boo. For instance, I am now looking for a job after being very sick the last year and having my layoff become effective (with 25 years service nonetheless!!!) and I can honsestly tell a new employer that I have not had a sick day in x amount of years and it will be the truth. I am pretty sure that FMLA-wise across the board, that your boss is not entitles to know what your illness is that you get the FMLA for, unless you choose to share that info. And BTW, had I not passed that "2nd opinion," per the paperwork I had at my job, I would've had the opportunity to have a "3rd opinion" with the doctor being the company's and my choice together. And if that hadn't worked, I think that I would've had the opportunity to bring a lawyer into it. Fortunately I didn't have to go that far but I would've had I had to. And incidentally, one of the big reasons I couldn't make it to work and would take an FMLA day would be the extreme D.......back then we thought it was just the IBS that goes along with Fibromyalgia. Who knew? And by the way, even some docs think that you should be able to make it to work with extreme D.......the dirtbag GI that I had at first last summer would NOT write anything for my work since I was actually out on sickness disability and he told me that he had plenty of patients that make it to work with D. Ha! I'd like to give it to him for a week! I couldn't even make it out of the house sometimes.....shoot I even didn't make it to the potty in time at home 15 feet away. And that's my story. I hope that this helps you out some, at least to know what some of your rights are.......sorry so long.............Angel

P.S. I have a new GI now who is a sweetheart. He wrote a nice letter for my work and I also had him write something on a prescription form so that I can carry food when I have to fly.

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I didnt have my FMLA for myself but for my husband, they declined it first until they actually talked to him on the phone and their responce was "man your really sick you should go see a doctor" .... his croaked reply was "I would but I cant keep enough breath to walk to the truck let alone drive myself there, walk in the door and get assistance, thats why I need my wife home sometimes!" It took another 4 months but we got him diagnosed and treated and gee no more problems! But thats another forum called "how to tell if your local doctor's are idiots"

I have attempted to get my "local idiot" to sign FMLA papers for me, however he refuses to even look into my issues and I have not yet had any tests at all, he is stuck on "acid reflux" at this time so..... I took the safer route, I put myself on the diet what could it have hurt right! ...... @#$%^&* the professionals they're overpaid and under knowledged and I have to admit in the past couple months since being on the diet I have had amazing results, noticed not only by myself but by others whom I work with and close friends!

If your Union (like myself) talk to your local "leader" if not I would check with a lawyer...

I would however hope in the event you have to see "their" doctor they are at least intelligent enough to know something about what your doctor is claiming, I would also take a copy of your test results showing the positives with you for them to look at because as you said you have been on the diet for a bit and may now get a false negative.

Just my .0000002 cents worth

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Thanks for your replies. I just went online to the Dept. of Labor website and it says that if the employer doubts the validity of my condition then they have the right to request a second opinion by a physician of their choice at their expense. In the meantime, they have to give me the time off that I need.

This really bothers me only bc my employer has treated me like crap since I have been with the company. I have been employed with them for over 2 yrs and have never gotten a raise, despite the ongoing compliments I get on how well I do my job. Not to mention they have me train some of the new employees! When I first went to the HR Dept about this, the HR guy was very nice and said for me not to worry about my job they will help me through this and that I need to focus on getting better. He never once gave me any info on FMLA until I mentioned it to him. I had several people tell me that I could take intermittent leave which means that I can call in on the days that I am sick and they cannot fire me bc I would be covered under FMLA. When I asked the HR guy about this he became very rude and told me that its not true, it has to be pre-planned time off and I can't just call in whenever I want to. I did some research and found that he was lying to me the whole time. According to the Dept of Labor, under the intermittent leave policy I can call in whenever I am ill as long as my doctor can verify that my condition is not foreseeable (which she already did). My doctor herself also told me that she has patients who have fmla and only use it on the days they are sick. When I brought this to HR again, he again became VERY rude and again told me that it is not true and that unless my doctor was also an attorney she basically didn't know what she is talking about, even though I showed him the papers from the dept. of labor! So this past Sat I got a certified letter from their attorneys stating that I have to get a 2nd opinion or they can fire me. Can you believe this guy! So anyway, I am just frustrated bc I know they are just doing this to be jerks and my luck will be that their doctor won't know anything about my condition. Thanks for letting me vent and for all your help. I will keep you informed of how things go in the future. Did I mention that I hate the company I work for??? Agghhhh!!!!

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MJ25.....hi! I'm coming bk to ammend what I wrote the other day. I said that your boss couldn't ask for a 2nd opinion but I wasn't taking into consideration the size of your company. I worked for a very LARGE company and the FMLA stuff was handled by a separate dept. If that FMLA dept wasn't satisified with my doc's advice, I think that they could have legally requested a 2nd opinion. But in my case, it was my LOCAL boss (and control freak) who requested a 2nd opinion from the FMLA dept and THAT was illegal. Once approved/certified, they couldn't go bk on it.....nothing had changed for me. And I'm very sorry if maybe my reply may have been somewhat confusing. Also, I definitely agree with what happygirl said: document EVERYTHING......and sorry that I didn't think of that the other day too. That is what I have done with anything important and particualarly with job-related stuff. I write the date,

time and whom I spoke with and what was discussed and anything else that I may find useful in the future. Needless to say my hand cramps up quite often and I have alot of notebooks. FYI, also works for simple everyday stuff like when you call a store/company before going there.....I get the person's name so that I know who is responsible for the info I received. They are always amazed when I can say who I talked to. Guess I learned something at the old phone co. Hope this ammendment helps and I wish you well with your FMLA. :rolleyes:

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Hi,

I am just wondering if anyone is familiar with FMLA. I have applied for FMLA at work because I have been so sick. Some days are just too bad for me to make it to work. Anyway, my employer gave me a very hard time about it and now they have had their Lawyers contact me via certified mail telling me that I have to get a 2nd opinion by a physician of their choice. First of all...is this legal? Second, I have been on a gluten free diet now for almost a month (May 1 will be a month) so any tests that they do will be a false negative bc I don't have any gluten in my system, right? Also, I don't want to have to get another biopsy just because they don't believe the 2 physicians I have already seen, it just doesn't seem right. Does anyone know about this? Have any advice?

My Hubby had to take a FMLA to take care of me when I had my surgery in Dec. The problem is though his was not paid, made it tough on us as I wasn't working either. (I am in direct sales)

If I would have had a regular JOB - I would have been fired, I was so sick, and now recovering from the gluten. I would have been off since last Oct. I seriously don't know how anyone could work with the brain fog, the big D and so forth!

I really don't know how you could get a second opinion when you have celiac - that is outragous!!! If it was on your blood work the first time - that is enough!!

Good-luck to you - I feel your pain!

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It is your HR departments responsiblity to assist you in this matter and they should be able to give you the information you need, such as a copy of the FMLA guidelines, including your companies guidelines and steps required. Each HR dept should have their guidelines in writing and you are entitled to view them!

They have probably turned it over to their lawyers b/c the HR department is not equiped to handle such requests and many do not understand all the rules and regulations of FMLA. It is not unusual for the lawyers to request a second opinion. Although, its frustrating, try to cooperate as much as possible and please DOCUMENT all steps and conversations.

Regarding intermittant leave - be careful! It legally has to be pre-approved! You can not just call in without doing the proper paperwork and receiving approval. Otherwise - its considered an unapproved abscence and will count towards such.

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I need some help from those of you using FMLA to protect your absences at work due to celiac. For the past 7 months my absences have been protected by FMLA. However, my absence last week was refused to be protected. Our company doctor has now decided that celiac does not qualify as a serious illness. I can file an appeal which will go before the doctor, a HR rep and a lawyer. I plan to try to get a couple letters from my doctors explaining the seriousness of celiac and the damage it can do to your body. My question is, how do your doctors explain how celiac applies as a serious health condition? I work for a large company and I feel like I need to fight this for all the other celiacs that might work there or who might be diagnosed in the future. It's not just about MY absence, it's about anyone with celiac disease. I must file my appeal within 30 days.

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Thats a tough one for sure..... I have not yet gotten FMLA for mine, I am allowed so many days off each month and I save them for when I am ill, its easier for me than talking the dr into tests meaning I will once again have to eat gluten, not going to happen.

I would suggest talking to your own lawyer however as the company ones are working for them not you so you cant trust their answers, I am not saying they will out and out lie to you but I would bet money on stretching the truth to the extent they can.

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Thats a tough one for sure..... I have not yet gotten FMLA for mine, I am allowed so many days off each month and I save them for when I am ill, its easier for me than talking the dr into tests meaning I will once again have to eat gluten, not going to happen.

I would suggest talking to your own lawyer however as the company ones are working for them not you so you cant trust their answers, I am not saying they will out and out lie to you but I would bet money on stretching the truth to the extent they can.

This is kind of off topic, but has anyone out there been able to get disability from being unable to work from the celiac and being "undiagnosed" as to what the problem is/was? My husband was self employed which basically turned into unemployed? (Finally recently diagnosed).

Jewels

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What state are you in? I'm a benefits administrator. I know all about CA and you absolutly can take intermittent leave with FMLA - I have people do it all the time.

Disability would be more difficult, but possible. FMLA is non-paid unless your company has another policy.

I would go to a state-specific dept. of labor site or if you tell me what state you're in, I might be able to help.

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