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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    14

    Question Is It Legal for My Employer Put Me in FMLA While I Am in the Middle of Recovery

    I was injured at work in Oct. 2012. My doctor keep me out-of-work since then. The workers compensation keep paying me TTD.
    Recently I reported to my employer that my doctor told me it would take at lease several more months to return to work.
    My employer notice me : "You have been out on leave since October, 2012, and the Company has not counted most of that time toward your available FMLA leave, however, we are counting your time out commencing on April 1, 2013 toward your available FMLA leave."

    Is this legal? I remember the FMLA can only take effect if I request it before I leave or right after I return to work.
    I do not ask for it. Is it legal for my employer put me in FMLA while I am in the middle of recovery?

    The FMLA only offer 12 weeks unpaid leave. If my treatment will take longer than that. Whether it means I can not return to work after my treatment?
    Now my employer ask me to pay my share of the premium payments on your health insurance to maintain health benefits while you are on leave. If payment is not made timely, they will cancel my group health insurance.

    What should I do?
    Last edited by mozhe; 04-04-2013 at 11:04 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,011

    Default Re: Is It Legal for My Employer Put Me in FMLA While I Am in the Middle of Recovery

    Is it legal for my employer put me in FMLA while I am in the middle of recovery?
    Yup, and your ER is following the law. When/if you are eligible for leave under FMLA, your ER may opt to run the WC and FMLA concurrently, but must notify you in writing, which they have done. Apparently your ER has been pretty understanding here... not putting you on FMLA until now.
    Now my employer ask me to pay my share of the premium payments on your health insurance to maintain health benefits while you are on leave. If payment is not made timely, they will cancel my group health insurance.
    That's right, you have to continue to pay your contribution to GHP while you are out on FMLA.

    You can find some FAQ's on WC/FMLA here http://www.ppspublishers.com/articles/fmla.htm
    What should I do?
    Have your Dr sign the leave papers, give them to your ER, and make sure your GHP contributions are kept current. After the 12 weeks, you must be given COBRA option.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Is It Legal for My Employer Put Me in FMLA While I Am in the Middle of Recovery

    But in the first few weeks after my injury, the boss promised in the email to cover all my cost which the workers compensation carrier won't cover. (like over the counter drug cost, the difference between my salary and TTD,...)
    Now the boss can cancel this promise freely?

    "After the 12 weeks, you must be given COBRA option. "
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~How much the COBRA health insurance will cost me?
    My group health insurance charge me $65 biweekly, only 30% of total premium.
    The employer pay the rest.

    More importantly, if the doctor decide I still need keep out of work after 12 weeks, whether I will be fired or layoff automatically by the employer?

    Thank you for your help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
    Posts
    3,519

    Default Re: Is It Legal for My Employer Put Me in FMLA While I Am in the Middle of Recovery

    mozhe
    Now my employer ask me to pay my share of the premium payments on your health insurance to maintain health benefits while you are on leave. I
    Does an employer have to pay for health insurance for an employee on WC leave? If the employee qualifies for FMLA leave and the employer normally pays for health insurance, the answer is yes. Although most state WC laws do not require employers to pay for health insurance during a WC leave, the FMLA requires the continuation of health insurance benefits during an FMLA leave. Typically, the state WC laws cover the employee’s medical costs related to the work injury but do not mandate continued coverage under, or payment for, a health insurance plan. However, under the FMLA, employers must provide the same health benefits during an eligible employee’s FMLA leave that it would have provided if the employee worked throughout the leave. Thus, if the employer normally pays 80% of an employee’s health benefits premium, it must continue to do so during the employee’s FMLA/WC leave.
    http://www.ppspublishers.com/article...r%20the%20FMLA

    the first few weeks after my injury, the boss promised in the email to cover all my cost which the workers compensation carrier won't cover. (like over the counter drug cost,
    There should be no cost to you for anything, including drugs.

    You're getting screwed over, consult and retain a lawyer ASAP!!!

    Tony
    Moderator
    We reserve the right to forbid any user from participating in this forum, and to close any user account, at any time, for any reason. In the interest of the community, this may be done without prior notice or warning.
    http://www.workerscompensationinsura...inks/index.htm

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,011

    Default Re: Is It Legal for My Employer Put Me in FMLA While I Am in the Middle of Recovery

    More importantly, if the doctor decide I still need keep out of work after 12 weeks, whether I will be fired or layoff automatically by the employer?
    After the FMLA/12 weeks, continued employment is between you and your ER. There are no job protections in filing a WC claim.

    WC carriers generally cover over the counter meds, if a Dr writes the RX and provides substantive medical evidence. OTC meds may be something you wouldn't ordinarily purchase, but do as a result of your injury.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
    Posts
    3,519

    Default Re: Is It Legal for My Employer Put Me in FMLA While I Am in the Middle of Recovery

    Again, there should be no cost to you for anything medically related to your on the job injury.

    Consult and retain a lawyer pronto.

    Tony
    Moderator
    We reserve the right to forbid any user from participating in this forum, and to close any user account, at any time, for any reason. In the interest of the community, this may be done without prior notice or warning.
    http://www.workerscompensationinsura...inks/index.htm

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    PA, but worked in NJ
    Posts
    663

    Default Re: Is It Legal for My Employer Put Me in FMLA While I Am in the Middle of Recovery

    Mozhe,

    Yes it is legal for your employer to count your time off work due to work injury under FMLA, however do not sign the request for FMLA. AS this states YOU are requesting FMLA time, however it appears your employer wants to count this time towards your FMLA. After the 12 weeks you can be terminated from your job, that's most likely what they are protecting their right to terminate your job after the 12 weeks. Watch yourself here. This is a NJ employer bully tactic, which unfortunately is lawful in NJ

    As Tony has posted in his reply most employers dont force the IW to pay for their health ins while on TTD/FMLA, and this is true, so if yours is, that's pretty telling of their position on your being out on TTD. You pay nothing towards your corrective medical care from your work injury situation.

    Dont just hire a lawyer to hire a lawyer do your homework B4 you hire call the NJ Bar to check credentials, they will tell you how long they have been in practice, as well as any area of expertise in a particular area of law

    BUG

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,050

    Default Re: Is It Legal for My Employer Put Me in FMLA While I Am in the Middle of Recovery

    COBRA premiums are approximately 100% of the premium cost to the employer. So your COBRA premium will be about 3 or 4 times higher than the pittance you are paying for health care insurance now.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney at Law

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Is It Legal for My Employer Put Me in FMLA While I Am in the Middle of Recovery

    Thank you very much for your help.
    The workers compensation agent agree to cover my over the courter drugs.

    But my biggest concern is: the boss promised in the email to cover all my loss in the first few weeks after my injury.
    For example, my TTD only pay 70% of my salary. The boss promise to make up the 30% loss.
    I still have their email on hand.
    Now the boss can cancel this promise freely?

    I do hire an attorney 2 months ago. He seems not good in workers compensation case. (You can search my previous post on this board.)
    I try to switch to another attorney, but several attorney refuse to involved in my case since I already hired an attorney.
    Is it normal for the attorney in New Jersey do not involved other attorney's case?
    Or my case is too small? (My vision decrease from 20/25 to 20/50, the injury on my cornea cause me very sensitive to chemicals. Maybe I can not return to be a chemist in the future.)

    Best regards!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,011

    Default Re: Is It Legal for My Employer Put Me in FMLA While I Am in the Middle of Recovery

    But my biggest concern is: the boss promised in the email to cover all my loss in the first few weeks after my injury.
    For example, my TTD only pay 70% of my salary. The boss promise to make up the 30% loss.
    I still have their email on hand.
    Now the boss can cancel this promise freely?
    If you read the FAQ's at the link I provided, you'll see that when you are on FMLA and WC concurrently, you cannot be "made whole" by using vacation/PTO or even your ER agreeing to pay the difference between the WC and total wages.

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