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Fmla For Celiac's Disease

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I'm new to this group, so I'd like to introduce myself. I'm a thirty something college graduate who was just diagnosed last year with celiac's disease. I've had symptoms all my life, but no doctor could come up with a diagnosis. I would have all the so called classic symptoms, constipation and diahhrea (with all the joy they bring), extreme edema, anxiety, depression to name a few. At one point a doctor told me that because I was extremely constipated, I needed to "eat more fiber... like whole wheat bread". I went back a few days later, (after sitting on the toilet all night after he suggestion), and complained that the fiber worked a little TOO well. She said "well then, try eating pasta, it should easier to digest". Wrong again doc... This went on for years with different doctors. I got pretty much the same response, or worse, they gave up on me or told me that I was putting on an act.

Anyway, I got diagnosed and am happier. I had to leave work several times and didn't come in at all because of my symptoms. I've tried to get FMLA through the doctor who diagnosed me but he refuses, saying that it doesn't pay since the Feds don't consider it a chronic disease.

How can it not be chronic if I can flare up if even the teeniest gluten crumb comes across my lips?!

Do I have any other legal recourse? I'd like to stay with my doctor because he does seem to be more knowledgable about celiac's disease than other G.I.'s im my area, but if I have to, I'll switch to another one.

I've almost beend fired in the past because of the "point" system. Each time I got sent home it was either a "half a point" for staying at least part of the shift, or a "whole point" for not coming in at all. We are allowed 8 points and then it's automatic dismissal. At one point, I was a little over, because they sent me home (a co-worker thought I was in too much pain and called my boss over. The boss sent me home even though I could have worked through the pain). They eventually let me come back, since I had a good work record, besides the problems with attendance. This being said, I still have occassional flares, from an unknown source of gluten, which I believe is at work somewhere.... and am afraid I loss my job if I have any more problems.

Please help me!

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I strongly suggest you get on line and review the fmla laws, print out a copy for your doctor...get FMLA papers from HR; see your doctor...if he refuses to complete find a different doctor.

You do not have to have a "chronic" disease to use FMLA...when you have to use FMLA most companies will have you use any paid time you have accrued first counting toward the FMLA (check you own company policy); however FMLA is unpaid time up to 12 weeks.

I lost my job after 12 weeks (I had not been Dx, so keep that in mind also; however, most people do not have the employer that I did.

Good Luck

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I use FMLA every year for Celiac. To my understanding most places require an employee to be with a company for 12 months before appling for FMLA. The legal side of it here (I would check online, each state may also be different, I dunno), you are allowed 12 weeks total throughout the year for that particular FMLA. After a year it expires and you have to file it again, then you get another 12 weeks. In my place I can take those days whenever. They don't have to be together. So those are great for flareup days. I just call my doc and if I can go in I go in. If not, he can write me a note for a flare up. The only weird thing about the paperwork is for a Celiac we don't have any type of treatments or drugs we can take so we have to wait it out. The paperwork expects us to go to the doc for flare ups, what are they gonna do really..LOL. B)

Also, you can apply for FMLA for each condition (if you have Celiac and need surgery or something for example)the same year. It will only give you the 12 weeks though. Meaning you don't get 12 weeks for each condition, it's just the 12 for everything.

Hope that helps. This has been my experience. I would research it heavily.

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I'm sorry to say this, but your Dr. should be reminded that as Celiac is an auto-immune disease, that is considered chronic. Really? He said that? Wow.

Ok. My work is a bit different with regards to fmla, as they allow us to use Paid Time Off for our absences. But, as I recall from a training session, the latest (as far as fed. law goes), is that we lucky celiacs qualify for intermittent leave. The trick is whether or not your employer has "over 50 employees." Well, at any rate, here's a cool website I found that tells a lot more, a lot better than I do! Best of luck to you.

And the Dr. part? There is a medical certification which has to be completed every six months. Basically says, are you sick with a serious health condition? When you are sick, are you unable to complete your essential job functions? (Can I work the computer from the bathroom? Gosh, no.) How much time do you need off per month? Thank you!

Hope that helps!

Here's the website http://www.dol.gov/compliance/guide/fmla.htm


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