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Supervisor upset for calling in sick (Post Moved Here)

Supervisor upset for calling in sick (Post Moved Here)


Old 11-01-12, 08:47 AM
enougher's Avatar
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Supervisor upset for calling in sick (Post Moved Here)

I have protected sick leave called (FMLA), which means that I am able to call in sick several times a month without penalty. This is due to my physical condition. I have to deal with permanent pain that's getting worse from a fall every day. I have about 20 screws and bolts keeping my bones together. I am currently taking a lower dose of pain medication (Morphine to Norco) and am dealing with withdrawals accompanied by pain, etc. Some days I feel terrible because of this and call in sick (FMLA), and I could just hear the disappointment in my supervisor's voice. She just hates it when I call in sick and her tone of voice and the words she uses will try to put a guilt trip on me even though I'm telling the truth. It's like all the manager's and supervisor's care is that you get your butt to work and get the work done so they can cover their asses. I know when I arrive at work tomorrow, she'll give me mean looks and try to come down hard on me. What should I do about this and how should I respond? Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-01-12, 09:18 AM
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Look for another job, life's too short to work for someone like this.

I'm serious - no court or lawyer or anything is going to change the person your boss is.
Old 11-01-12, 09:25 AM
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Although I don't know what FMLA does exactly (I read the simple explanation)...I'll assume you are getting unpaid days off and are legally protected from dismissal? Of course the supervisor/manager will be upset/disappointed when you call in as they were expecting you there that day. That means either your work won't get done or someone else has to pick up the load. Perfectly understandable...even though they probably realize it's not your fault. This is different from say..maternity leave, where people are expected to be gone for 6 weeks or so and their absence is not missed as much once everyone gets into the routine of them not being there.

It still doesn't give them the right to abuse you in any way and could be a legally actionable issue.

When I was a supervisor...I much preferred if someone just took a longer amount of time off and tried to fully recover, as opposed to working 2 days, then missing 1, then back for 3, then miss 2. It made scheduling and planning a nightmare for both myself and all my other workers. It also planted the seed of doubt in all of us that the person was "milking" the system. Wrong or right, it was how it made us feel.

Without knowing what your job is...is there any way that you could do some work from home, even when you aren't feeling well? Or possibly stay a few hours longer (unpaid maybe) on the days you are able to work? I know my last job you couldn't legally work off the clock. Since the days you take are unpaid...maybe they wouldn't care if they paid you for the extra hours...as long as it wasn't OT? If you were a good worker before your medical issues and will be again after you are fully recovered...I'm sure most companies will be willing to work with you as long as you aren't abusing the rules.

Nothing will be resolved by ignoring the situation. You need to sit down with them and work something out. This is all assuming you like your job and want to keep it. In today's economy, most people don't want to leave a job that they need.
Old 11-01-12, 09:37 AM
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Seems like a type of discrimination, but mitch is right in a way... the problem will probably be FINDING another job.

You could look into the resources here: Compliance Assistance By Law - The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

There is a number listed there that you can call to report a complaint if you feel your employer is violating any of the provisions of the FMLA law.
Old 11-01-12, 09:56 AM
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Also found this legal opinion letter: http://www.dol.gov/WHD/opinion/FMLA/...06_1A_FMLA.pdf

Specifically, there is a paragraph or two that deals with employer call-in rules and how they interact with the FMLA laws. It seems to hinge on whether or not the leave is foreseen or unforseen (emergency) or not. It also uses the word "non-discriminatory" to refer to the employers actions in response to the leave of absence.

It sounds like what is miffing your employer might be the short notice and his inabilty to fill your shoes on such short notice. Perhaps he/she needs the phone number of a temp agency.
Old 11-01-12, 10:49 AM
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There are several obstacles that are in my way. I actually like my job only in that it offers medical benefits. Hospital co-pay's and visits are 5 dollars, and so are all prescriptions. Finding a job on par with this in regards to medical benefits is extremely difficult. My benefits already paid over 200,000 dollars which I could never have paid off. The only drawback of my job is that the manager's and supervisor's are very stern when it comes to people taking time off, even if it's a vacation day. I already discussed to my supervisor that there are some days when my pain is acting up more than other days, and it's unpredictable. Today was a cold and rainy day which took a toll on my joints and bones, along with me barely getting any sleep last night. My physician even wrote a note explaining this, and I also gave it to my supervisor. I dread going to work tomorrow because I know I'm going to get mean mugged. The odd thing is that I'm actually the hardest worker (from the supervisor's own lips) in my department and I get mean looks for calling in sick, even when it's legitimate. Then there are the other workers who take extra breaks, do 5 times less work than I do, and talk all day about going to bars, having parties, etc. When they call in sick, it's like, "awww, I hope you're feeling better today!". It's like I'm living in a backwards world.
Old 11-01-12, 10:55 AM
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Maybe you just need to get tougher skin and figure out a way for it not to bother you so much.... I know, easier said than done

I've run crews both as a foreman and as a small business owner and the sad fact is some employees - you really don't care if they show up, the only reason you keep them is because you haven't found a better replacement yet. Key employees are the ones that are missed the most when they aren't there. I think Vic made a good suggestion in seeing if you could either do some work from home or stay late on your good days. That lets the boss/supervisor know that you want to do the best you can to help the business.
Old 11-01-12, 10:56 AM
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It's like I'm living in a backwards world.
Sure but what's your point? The reality of the situation is your boss sucks. You have to find a way to make that better, ignore it or move on.
Old 11-01-12, 11:40 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Once again we're just getting one side of the story. Of course your supervisor is going to be upset/disappointed/pi**ed when you call in for a guaranteed sick day. It's not a matter of "covering their asses." That statement alone tells me a lot about your attitude Consider that it might be a matter of having to find someone else to do your job, or perhaps doing it themselves.

The other thing that I picked up on was that you say you like your job, but then you go on to explain the reason you like it - the medical benefits. With that attitude I wonder what kind of employee you are at work.

Someone suggested a thicker skin. Think about it.
Old 11-01-12, 12:02 PM
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I worked a job that required 24/7 coverage and we had a minimal crew of four people. When anyone took time off for any reason it meant 7 day weeks and/or 12 hour shifts. Once we had a man leave for a different job then had a second man be selected for jury duty, on a murder trial. My partner and I were working 12 hour shifts for two full weeks.

Another time a man retired during a company hiring freeze. I worked from July to December with only three days off and I only had those days off because I had theater tickets. Each of us worked several 12 hour shifts to allow each of us to have a few days off during that period of time.

Think about the hardships you are giving your supervisor and your coworkers. I've also worked jobs that had a few less-than-responsible people that would call at the last minute (or not call at all) and I would be forced to work a 12 or 16 hour shift. Maybe your job isn't 24/7 but it STILL adversely affects your coworkers, your supervisor, your supervisor's supervisor AND your company when you take time off and especially when you do so at the last minute.
Old 11-01-12, 02:14 PM
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Your company may have a different interpretation of FMLA than I'm used to, but from my understanding it was put in place for when you are not sick, but need the time off to care for other family members. When it is you that is sick, then sick leave or other medical time off applies. But in any case, I wouldn't expect them to allow this to go on forever, right or wrong. I've seen too many employers squeeze someone out for one reason because they can't mention the other. The company I'm familiar with would only allow so many days off and you would be put on sick leave. They would not make accommodations unless yours is classified as a disability.

Not trying to be critical, just saying watch your back.

Old 11-02-12, 04:29 AM
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...all the manager's and supervisor's care is that you get your butt to work and get the work done so they can cover their asses.
That's pretty much a manager and supervisor's job description.
Old 11-02-12, 05:43 AM
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Hello: enougher.

Your question is very valid. How the FM LA law pertains to you and your specific circumstance is not all that uncommon. One reason why the specific law was enacted to protect employees from immediate terminations for a specific situation.... Be best IMO to investigate specifically how that law pertains to you and if it does....

In My Opinion (IMO) to hopefully advise and help......you better, it would have been best to have posted this subject in the labor and law category on this web site. Links below.

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