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Family Medical Leave Act Questions

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michele2303

Guest
What is the name of your state? Wisconsin

I have a couple of questions regarding the FMLA. I am 5 months pregnant and work full-time for a large corporation (retail). I would ask my hr rep at work, but she's as incompetant as a rock. I have been with the company for 10 months. October 1st will be a year. Question 1: My doctor wants to pull me out of work now until the baby is born due to some health risks. I pay $20.00/week for health insurance. If he pulls me out of work, can they fire me, do they have to keep my job, and will they continue my insurance? I would be out of work for a little under 6 months. Question 2: Can I collect short or long-term disability if my doctor pulls me from work? He is saying I'm no longer able to work, which I thought meant it's a disability. Question 3: I have BC/BC of Alabama for insurance. According to my HR rep, their short-term disability is only for up to 8 days, but the long-term disability doesn't go into effect until the 91st day of unemployment. And it does NOT backpay. First, does this sound right? And two, can I collect disability from the state? Thanks in advance to any and all help.

PS I have read the FMLA and can't find any pertinent info to my situation. I also have read a paper on WI's Fair Employment Law--Pregnancy, Employment, and the Law to no avail.
 


cbg

I'm a Northern Girl
Sorry I didn't see this sooner; I don't check this board very often.

Okay, if you have only been with the company since October 1, 2001 you are not eligible for FMLA until October 1, 2002 and then only if BOTH the company has 50 employees AND you worked at least 1000 hours. (It would be 50 employees within a 75 mile radius and 1250 hours except that Wisconsin has slightly less restrictive requirements than the Federal law.)

That being the case, technically if you go out now they could conceivably fire you IF they would also have fired someone who had to go out on medical leave for non-pregnancy reasons. They do not have to keep your job open unless their company policy is to do so. They do not have to continue paying your health insurance but they do have to offer COBRA (state continuation if your company has less than 20 employees). Assuming that you are still employed on October 1 (and just because they can fire you doesn't mean they will fire you) you would then become eligible for FMLA and your job would be protected for 12 weeks.

As far as the disability goes, I think you have misunderstood your HR rep. Usually short term disability goes into effect on the 8th day. That's not the day it stops. So there's no disability coverage for the first week, and on day 8 coverage begins. LTD starting on day 91 sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Assuming that the condition for which your doctor wants you to stop working is covered by your plan (and without reading the plan document I have no reason to think that it wouldn't be) there's no reason you shouldn't be covered. But that is a contractual issue with the disability carrier, not a legal one. Of course, this is assuming that you have STD coverage at all. It's not a required benefit; no company is required to provide disability benefits at all.

There are only five states where you can get disability benefits from the state and Wisconsin is not one of them.
 

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