My mother has been employed for 19 years at the same company. She has been having some medical issues and has used 12 weeks of FMLA, although for part of this she was required to use her remaining vacation days. She took the majority of the 12 weeks in 2011 and has not been able to return to work in 2012. She is in the ICU unit, on a ventilator, feeding tube and sedated. Her employer's HR department (mine also) send me an email on 1/17/2012 stating that she is terminated as of 1/12/12 because they didn't received required documentation from her physician. I spoke with the physician and they faxed the requested information to HR on 1/9/12. HR is stating they didn't receive it until 1/16/12 and the deadline was 1/11/12. Is this legal? Aren't they required to extent the leave for 2 weeks? Can they terminate her through another employee that is a family member?
1 Answer from Attorneys
You raise several issues with respect to your mom's employment. I discuss them below.
1. What counts as FMLA leave--even though the employer required mom to use vacation time,. this still counts as FMLA leave if the employer so designated it.
2. Continued leave--When did the new FMLA leave period begin and how many days after the request for additional time off did ther employer terminate her? Mom has 15 days of receipt of the employer's packet to return it to them. The fact that she was/is in ICU could extend this period. Not sure what you mean by whether the employer is required to extend the leave by two weeks.
Our firm is happy to offer you a complimentary telephone consultation. Please call or email us through our website. Have all relevant dates handy (request for FMLA, when employer gave mom FMLA paperwork, etc).
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