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#235561 - 06/26/12 08:14 AM FMLA
pilotmike5 Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 61
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
I would love to here from anyone who is working that has used FMLA. I have Spondylitis and am on Remicade. My inflammation has been mostly controlled judging by my bloodwork however I still experience significant pain and side effects from damaged joints and vertebrae as well as severe fatigue. I work in a powerplant as a lab technician. They are requesting a certification which I provided and asked for a second opinion from an independant dr. who reported that I am not entitled to FMLA benefits because he doesn't think I have the disease. I'm now waiting to meet with a third opinion dr. who's decision will be final and binding. I'm frustrated, angry, exhausted and sad..in that order. I despise this disease.

I've read up on the JAN network and have since asked my supervisor for a new chair for my posture. Haven't heard anything in almost a month. Not even a response.

Some days I'm late...10 minutes maybe 15..I hate it but I know there's others out there who have the same problem. I'd love to ask for flex hours but I am scared stiff (pardon the pun) to make a move. I'm afraid of their response.

I hate to think like this but I JUST KNOW this company wants me gone.

Now I'm rambling but have to unload some of these emotions. I'd love to hear from others. Maybe if we networked more we would be better equipped to deal with these things. I know there's just no way I'm alone in this.
_________________________
33yo man from Brooklyn, NY
Remicade infusion 6 week intervals
Premature wear to most major joints and entire spine.
Sleep apnea
Fatigue
Anxiety

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#235570 - 06/26/12 09:57 AM Re: FMLA [Re: pilotmike5]
JenInCincy Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 05/19/08
Posts: 13279
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
I'm so sorry you are going through this frown Unfortunately they are permitted to ask for a 2nd opinion, but did they pay for it? The doctor who renders the 3rd opinion has to be someone you are OK with. Good luck, I hope it works out for you!! Remember it is illegal for them to retaliate against you in any way for wanting to exercise FMLA rights - if they were to fire you or refuse to provide accommodations that are required by law, you can and should sue.

From http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/1421.htm
"An employer may, at its own expense, require the employee to obtain a second medical certification from a health care provider. The employer may choose the health care provider for the second opinion, except that in most cases the employer may not regularly contract with or otherwise regularly use the services of the health care provider. If the opinions of the employee's and the employer's designated health care providers differ, the employer may require the employee to obtain certification from a third health care provider, again at the employer's expense. This third opinion shall be final and binding. The third health care provider must be approved jointly by the employer and the employee."
_________________________
Jen, 42, happy partner of James and Moma to Evan, 14, & Lucy, 12.5 (Crohn's dx @ age 3; on Remicade since April 2010.) I take piroxicam, Flexeril, & Nucynta ER nightly. 3 anti-TNFs didn't pan out for me.

"Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance." -- Hippocrates

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#235623 - 06/27/12 08:54 AM Re: FMLA [Re: pilotmike5]
pilotmike5 Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 61
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Jen,

I'm aware of the second opinion and have read the regulations and provisions of the act. Fact is though if you're sick it's tough to deal with these HR people. No company wants a sick employee and unfortunately these people get paid to know the ins and outs of this sort of stuff. I wish I was a better "lawyer" because sadly you have to be and you have to fight these people all the way. The independent doctor for the second opinion was schooled in Guadalajara (that's a damn joke!) and he works for an industrial medical consulting firm. Guess they know who's writing their checks. I also know that a lot of what i'm complaining about is technically "illegal", but try to prove it. I haven't the energy, focus or time. It's really pissing me off.

The only positive to this is that the third doctor that we chose is in a reputable hospital.

Do you work? Ever dealt with any of what i'm speaking of before?
_________________________
33yo man from Brooklyn, NY
Remicade infusion 6 week intervals
Premature wear to most major joints and entire spine.
Sleep apnea
Fatigue
Anxiety

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#236762 - 07/13/12 03:35 PM Re: FMLA [Re: pilotmike5]
annadair Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 7
Hi! I'm new to this forum. I do have experience with fmla. I worked for a call center for 5 years and 9 months. I had to be there a year before I could apply. When I started there I had not been diagnosed. That happened the summer of 08 almost 2 years after starting there. My employers actually suggested it due to missing so much work. They required lots of paperwork from me and my Dr. This was repeated every 3 to 6 months. Instead of treating me badly, the firm that handled the fmla had "trouble" receiving the paperwork back whether mailed or faxed. I lost my fmla last year when I had kidney failure and sepsis (while on Restasis) and missed 5 months of work. As far as a chair, my husband and I went out and found one. We also purchased an ergonomic key board and mouse when my hands swelled due to plantar fasciitis. My job has now ended as of June 30th. So now I'm stuck with trying to find a job I can do knowing I'll probably lose it before I'm eligible for fmla again.
_________________________
Annadair, diagnosed in 08, symptoms since birth,I have as and polyathritis. several family members also have as, including my 19 year old son. I'm not currently on meds. I stopped a year ago feb., after being on remicade just a few months due to kidney failure and sepsis. Currently on Restasis, meloxicam, tizanidine, metaxalone, hydrocodon

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#238295 - 08/07/12 05:59 AM Re: FMLA [Re: pilotmike5]
pilotmike5 Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 61
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Educate, document and be brave....Most of us aren't lawyers but it's definitely in our best interest to learn these laws as best we can.

From the government website on FMLA:

http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/employeeguide.htm


Corporate america has little interest in our best interest. I'm finding that you have to fight them tooth and nail. I won't saw it's easy to do but I think it's the only way for most companies. And remember...educate, educate, educate. Read that law until you can recite it verbatim.

I'm still looking for others that have been through this. I still believe that together we can help each other.

-Michael
33 Brooklyn, NY
_________________________
33yo man from Brooklyn, NY
Remicade infusion 6 week intervals
Premature wear to most major joints and entire spine.
Sleep apnea
Fatigue
Anxiety

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#239597 - 08/28/12 08:29 AM Re: FMLA [Re: pilotmike5]
pilotmike5 Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 61
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Update on my FMLA certification:

Called into a meeting on 8/15 by the UR director. Was told that the 3 doctors we selected for the 3rd evaluation all rejected the assignment. He then told me that because its been ongoing for 8 months that the company can not continue to dedicate time to my case and therefore is denying my request for FMLA benefits. When I questioned him about the doctors responses he said to my astonishment that he received no responses to the letters he sent to them and viewed that as their rejection. He did no follow up, not even a phone call and for all I know he never even sent the letters out. Unreal. I'm currently wait for a response from a Department of Labor Investigator who has been assigned to the complaint I have filed against the Company.
_________________________
33yo man from Brooklyn, NY
Remicade infusion 6 week intervals
Premature wear to most major joints and entire spine.
Sleep apnea
Fatigue
Anxiety

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#247789 - 01/29/13 12:44 PM Re: FMLA [Re: pilotmike5]
crazed Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 8
good for you,on the filing. I am amazed. I have been on FMLA 3 times, none for AS however. once was son in ICU after accident- that was intermittant- and worked 1/2 days, others were for back problems. first for 4 months- Mris, torn/herniated discs, PT, the works, last time was the back surgery 2010, 10 wks recovery on it. They have never given me any problems at all. I have Short term and long term disability ins as well. Ive been in this industry for 33 yrs though, 19 with this current company alone. but I work for very large corporation, maybe thats difference? I am appalled that they even give anyone resistance on it. Its so obvious when you are at work and in pain, and with Dr. Diagnosis in writing, wow. You stand firm and work with the Dept of Labor! Like life isnt hard enough without grief over a program that is supposed to relieve the stress with respect to holding your job open while on FMLA. sorry I dont have any great advice, as I have not had any resistance on FMLA, but its your right! I wouldnt hesitate to get attorney either. They are So out of line.

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