FMLA (or Other) Leaves Potential Negative Impact?

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K_Lilly
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FMLA (or Other) Leaves Potential Negative Impact?

Post by K_Lilly » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:48 pm

I hope this forum might help with 2 questions my husband and I have regarding FMLA leave. My husband works in an extremely stressful job with long hours at the office and lots of travel. Due to food choices, stress, lack of sleep and lack of exercise, his health is quite poor for his age (39). While his compensation is very high and increases each year, so do his hours and company expectations. We've talked about taking FMLA to address his personal health (our family doctor is fully on board). Our question is: would taking FMLA for pressing personal health issues potentially create any issues later on? For example, suppose he went own his own in a few years, would taking time off for stress/health impact getting health insurance, life insurance, or other?

Second question is similar. He works at a fairly large company and they also occasionally allow a leave not related to FMLA that can be even longer than 12 weeks...same question as to whether a non-FMLA leave could cause problems down the road......

We just don't know how all this information floats around in the databases so we wanted to check here before we approach Human Resources. We're typing this together so yes he knows I am posting this! Thank you.

runner3081
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Re: FMLA (or Other) Leaves Potential Negative Impact?

Post by runner3081 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:12 am

K_Lilly wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:48 pm
Our question is: would taking FMLA for pressing personal health issues potentially create any issues later on? For example, suppose he went own his own in a few years, would taking time off for stress/health impact getting health insurance, life insurance, or other?
Taking FMLA in itself will not. The medical diagnoses in his medical record could (which would be there, regardless of taking FMLA). At the moment, pre-existing conditions won't impact insurance, but that could also change with future legislation (anyone's guess).

With personal (non-FMLA) leave, make sure to check and see if the benefits extend through this period or if he must go on COBRA if he extends past FMLA.

Another thing to keep in mind is that retaliation is not allowed for FMLA claims, but this could very well take away chances for future promotions or put a label on him within the company.

Silk McCue
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Re: FMLA (or Other) Leaves Potential Negative Impact?

Post by Silk McCue » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:23 am

Nothing is more important than your husbands health. Do whatever it takes to address that. Even without taking leave he can make health choices today. He needs to own that.

Wishing him the very best.

Cheers

oldfatguy
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Re: FMLA (or Other) Leaves Potential Negative Impact?

Post by oldfatguy » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:26 am

runner3081 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:12 am

Another thing to keep in mind is that retaliation is not allowed for FMLA claims, but this could very well take away chances for future promotions or put a label on him within the company.
Yes, it's kind of like age, disability, etc. discrimination. It is prohibited by law, of course, but is very widespread and difficult to prove.

michaeljc70
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Re: FMLA (or Other) Leaves Potential Negative Impact?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:37 am

I don't see how taking this short leave is going to solve anything long term. It seems like a band aid. It sounds like he needs a less stressful job with less hours. Maybe use the leave to look for a new job.

togb
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Re: FMLA (or Other) Leaves Potential Negative Impact?

Post by togb » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:08 pm

Does he really need to leave work to make better eating choices, get a good nights rest and exercise? Those are things that many people incorporate while working-- and if he is to maintain his health, he'll have to maintain healthy habits AND work, not eat well/sleep/exercise instead of working.

If doctors will write notes, FMLA (full time or intermittent) can be approved. His job will be legally protected, but when people have invisible or less visible issues, there is inevitably speculation/raised eyebrows. Basically the law protects employment but not reputation. If he desires advancement, then it might be worth trying to make better choices while working, rather than instead of working. Only he knows whether this is possible for him.

Invest4lt
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Re: FMLA (or Other) Leaves Potential Negative Impact?

Post by Invest4lt » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:20 pm

oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:26 am
runner3081 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:12 am

Another thing to keep in mind is that retaliation is not allowed for FMLA claims, but this could very well take away chances for future promotions or put a label on him within the company.
Yes, it's kind of like age, disability, etc. discrimination. It is prohibited by law, of course, but is very widespread and difficult to prove.
Agree. I would suggest taking concrete steps while employed. For instance, start weekly counseling for stress reduction (Maybe weekend appointments or Friday afternoons). Meet with a dietitian on how to make healthy eating choices. I spend a significant time on the road and have learned how to manage. Get a trainer for the weekends and workout in the hotel gym during the week.

In short, these actions can be started today. FMLA will not be a panacea.

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K_Lilly
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Re: FMLA (or Other) Leaves Potential Negative Impact?

Post by K_Lilly » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:20 pm

Thanks for the input.

He is in therapy for stress about 2 times per month. His hours can be 70/80 hours per week , to significantly more (hours each evening and substantial weekends, and also very erratic/hard to predict) . He is looking to change companies, just those darn restricted shares have a hook in you , but not hooked so deep to sacrifice health. We’re both sick and tired of it so not worried about being blacklisted at current company .... just pondering what impacts may be to future opportunities... helpful comments from replies on that here - thx

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Jerry55
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Re: FMLA (or Other) Leaves Potential Negative Impact?

Post by Jerry55 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:05 pm

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees certain employees up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave each year with no threat of job loss.

I myself used FMLA to help my sister care for my mother, and as we're separated by 800+ miles, I had to use it in 80 hour increments to allow her time to take a vacation (Mom was in an assisted living home and needed more help). She also scheduled most of mom's Dr appts, etc while I was in town. My sister was also working at the time, so the 2-3 weeks I was able to relieve her she greatly appreciated.

Fortunately, I had about 1300 hours of Sick Leave saved up, and used it over a period of about 6-8 years, and I appreciated mom's Dr writing me out the slip to have my supervisor approve of it. Thankfully, I was paid by using my sick leave, and I also earned more sick leave while on leave. I retired in Dec. 2012 with 2 hours left on the books.

If his job is that stressful, like the posters above mentioned, I'd hope that he'd find solace in taking the time allowed, and if he has to take leave without pay, I'd hope that would work out well for the both of you. You have much to consider...
Retired CSRS on 12/19/2012 @ age 57 w/39 years | Good Bye Tension, Hello Pension !!!

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teen persuasion
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Re: FMLA (or Other) Leaves Potential Negative Impact?

Post by teen persuasion » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:52 am

oldfatguy wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:26 am
runner3081 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:12 am

Another thing to keep in mind is that retaliation is not allowed for FMLA claims, but this could very well take away chances for future promotions or put a label on him within the company.
Yes, it's kind of like age, disability, etc. discrimination. It is prohibited by law, of course, but is very widespread and difficult to prove.
Agreed. My sister used FMLA for a few weeks while her young son was in the ICU. She had a job to return to, but was fired soon after for not meeting monthly quotas for that month. :annoyed

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JAZZISCOOL
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Re: FMLA (or Other) Leaves Potential Negative Impact?

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:33 am

I’m sorry for your husband’s job stress. It is really important for him to prioritize his health as it sounds like he is doing. Job stress can have many negative consequences so I’m glad he is working with his doctor, going to therapy, etc. Also, there are some great, free apps for meditation he can use on the road or in the car (e.g. Headspace, Calm).

Like others have said, it is unlikely that a short-term leave of absence (FMLA at 12 weeks max) is going to address the stress, travel and long hours of this current job when he returns, but it may offer some time to think and reassess. Sounds like he may be thinking about leaving or starting his own business long term so either might be a healthier solution for him with a better work-life balance. Right now, he has the proverbial “golden handcuffs” on with the restricted shares. It’s not worth it if it is compromising his health at such a young age.

Since FMLA is handled by the company, it is probably just listed in the HR file (database) at his company vs. a life insurance database. COBRA through the current employer should be offered for 18 months but you should also compare with the ACA exchange in your state as the COBRA rates can be high if he leaves the firm.

His company may also offer a short-term disability (STD) policy so you could have income during his leave although the documentation requirements from the doctor may be higher. FMLA on its own does not provide income. FYI, since you may already know this.

Note that FMLA (Federal law regarding job security; Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993) and STD (company sponsored private insurance to provide benefits) are 2 separate things. Also, some companies run them concurrently (not consecutively).

Here is a short article that discusses this in a bit more detail (may have to copy/paste):

https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/c ... -same-time

A non-FMLA leave would not provide job protection or income, although some companies offer them. Given this, I’m not sure why he would want a non-FMLA leave since he would have no job protection at all. It seems like FMLA is a good place to start.

Best of luck.

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K_Lilly
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Re: FMLA (or Other) Leaves Potential Negative Impact?

Post by K_Lilly » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:08 pm

Can anyone think of any other aspects of life that FMLA could impact other than the health/life insurance I initially posted about? For example, when you get a driver’s license in my state, they ask something about mental conditions. Could they say “your license was not approved because you have taken leave for mental/stress reasons."

bhsince87
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Re: FMLA (or Other) Leaves Potential Negative Impact?

Post by bhsince87 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:34 pm

I don't think there is any standard answer for this.

At my previous employer, it came down to a department level decision.

A coworker in another department who sat next to me took 10 weeks off after her husband hand a cancerous mole removed from his arm.

I never saw any negative repercussions for that.

I tried to take two weeks off after my wife had foot surgery and couldn't walk, but my boss wouldn't allow it.

And he brought it up at my next review!
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace." Samuel Adams

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Re: FMLA (or Other) Leaves Potential Negative Impact?

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:50 pm

Unless he is in a high powered professional services profession like law or consulting or investment banking, or he is working for a tech startup, there is absolutely no reason for him to be working those hours.

I find that a lot of office stress can be self-imposed. A change in mindset to simply let go of the work that cannot be reasonably done in a 8-9 hour day can do wonders for his health and his career. The company will adapt.

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Re: FMLA (or Other) Leaves Potential Negative Impact?

Post by Katietsu » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:04 am

I think some of the answers are going to depend on what condition the PCP is assigning as the “serious health condition” that is needed for FMLA. Job stress and poor food choices are not the medical condition.

I did not see it mentioned as to whether or not a mental health professional is involved. The right mental health professional should be able to help with some of the questions you have asked as well as the best way to extricate oneself from a bad work situation. Good luck.

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Re: FMLA (or Other) Leaves Potential Negative Impact?

Post by BarbBrooklyn » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:28 am

Lily, In my state, DMV asks if you have a medical condition that can cause you to lose consciousness or if you have a significant sensory impairment or lack the use of a limb. Nothing about depression or anxiety.

You always have due process rights; no state is going to "not approve" a drivers license based only on the answer to a question on a form.
BarbBrooklyn | "The enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."

chevca
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Re: FMLA (or Other) Leaves Potential Negative Impact?

Post by chevca » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:47 am

michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:37 am
I don't see how taking this short leave is going to solve anything long term. It seems like a band aid. It sounds like he needs a less stressful job with less hours. Maybe use the leave to look for a new job.
This ^^

I don't see the point in a short leave if he will just go back to the same bad routine. There needs to be a plan to completely change the routine.

Topic Author
K_Lilly
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Re: FMLA (or Other) Leaves Potential Negative Impact?

Post by K_Lilly » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:06 pm

Exactly our plan - use the time off to develop our long term plan (health/mental plan, finances, job change, and all). Much to do.

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