My symptoms are getting out of control. I am extremely aggitated at work and have gotten into a few shouting matches with my supervisor. I am thinking about a FMLA. Is anyone aware of how this process works?
As far as I know you just put in for medical leave with your supervisor and unless you have paid sick days or vacation saved up, it's unpaid medical leave. Unless you're in a "trial" period, then you cannot be disciplined or lose your job....unless you've already been disciplined for the shouting matches and something has come of that.
There is a Disabilities Board where they could probably tell you alot about it.
Last edited by katlin09; 03-18-2009 at 08:48 PM.
Reason: added something
I am presently on a family medical leave. I have up to 12 weeks off without pay. My insurance is continued during this time and my job is being held - I am a special education teacher. I used up all of my sick days and personal days before going on the family medical leave. I am going to go back to school part time so that I do not loose my insurance after the 12 weeks.
There are federal laws protecting disabled people and bipolar is totally considered a disability. My company is excellent about this so if I say something incorrect please correct me ASAP.
As long as you follow the process, file for the leave, get a form filled out by whichever type of doc you're working with, etc. you should be perfectly safe. Firing you while your on leave is illegal.
Where I work using a bunch of sick time all at once throws up a flag that can come back to bite you so if you need more than a day or so go for the leave.
I wouldn't start with your supervisor someone in HR or better yet an occupational health department if you have one.
Don't just listen to me that's how my company works smaller companies or different states my have some different rules or laws but someone where you work needs to know them. Just make sure you protect yourself and your job.
actually Mtbjoe you gave some great advice, going to the HR dept. is probably the correct thing to do. And you are most definitely correct in that BiPolar disorder is covered under the American's with Disabilities Act. I'm not sure that many companies have as strict a policy on using sick days as yours though, that's kind of unreasonable.
I may have been a little unfair to my company there though. I think it's more of a you've used way over the yearly allowed hours, which I was going to blast right by a couple of years ago, than a hey this guy just used 4 days let's get him type of thing.
They make it pretty clear that if you have a condition that needs more than the 40 hrs a year they want you to get the help you need but of course I don't think they want people taking advantage of sick hours by spending a week in Vegas either.
I saw my therapist last night and she mentioned it before I even said anything. I am so agitated at work, my supervisor have had a verbal altercation twice, I am paranoid of everyone at the job and dont trust them, i have totally isolated myself from everyone. I no longer care about helping my clients (I am a social worker lol). I truly need a break. My therapist pulled some strings and I have an appointment with my Pdoc tommorrow morning. I hope that she does not give me a hard time about wanating this leave. She recently switched my meds to Seroquel taking me off Geodon. I dont know if that has anything to do with anything but I wnat to relax before I get fired. Social work circles are small so if I get fired I will basically be black listed. I have a little over a month of time between sick, vacation, personal so I have time to take and will still have an income. I am just hoping that tommorrow is my last day of work for a little while.
Saw pdoc today bright and early and she had the FMLA papers for me downloaded from the government website. She stated that she talked to my therapist and really feels that my job is a hostile environment for me right now. She does not recommend that I go back but when I am feeling better look for a new job. She asked if I wanted to participate in their intensive outpaitent program but i declined partly because I am embarrassed and partly because I dont want to be in that environment. She instructed me to go to work today (i had to get my check) and call out on Monday and then call human resources and tell them I need a FMlA and have them fax all paperwork to her. She increased my Seroquel to 100mg at bedtime and 25mg three times a day. SHe also stated that I can take my Ativan again three times a day 1mg if I want. I see my therapist again Wed. and I see my pdoc again Sat. I am so relieved right now that I dont have to go back to that job again ever!!!!!!!!! My dad wants me to stay with him for about a week in the Poconos so I am leaving tonight. I just want to sleep (or try becuase I havent really been sleeping), eat- cause all I have been doing is drinking coffee, and just relax for a little while. I printed all my time and I have 1950 total work hours and I made 12 months Feb 25, 2009 so I meet all the requirements. They say a job can withold FMLA for 30 days if they dont get notice but there are exceptions. My Pdoc told me not to worry about that- she is very experienced at doing this. I feel like I am in good hands with this clinic- they communicate, they are experiences, compassinate and treat me holistically as well. I feel very lucky right now and I am starting to feel hope again that I can be in a good place. My hubby and MIL are estatic about the FMLA becuase my MIL especially has been telling me that this is not a good fit for me for a long time. I will post on Monday after I talk to HR to let you know what their policy is. It may be helpful to someone else. Thanks everyone for the comments.
I called out of work today bright and early and called my HR department. No one called me back all day. I called again around 3 and someone finally calledme back around 4:45pm. She stated that she would fax all my paperwork to the Pdoc and I would have ot use up all my vacation and sick time. I lose my personal time, emergency days and comp time that I accumulated. That sucks. Then she said that I would have benefits until all my paid time runs out. After that I would have to bpay the full premium of my health insurance at $900 a month. I will definitely have to apply for Medicaid because I cannot afrord that. After I use all my time I get a disability check for $170 a month. This is so ridiculus. I can probably only take off the amount of time that I have which is about 4 weeks paid. After that I have to go back to work because I cant afford to live off the disability payments alone. I make good money so that is a big loss. I hope that I am feeling better by then and can maintain a job at that point. I see my therapist on Wed and the PDoc on Sat. Today I just relaxed with hubby and played WII bowl all day. I am also staying at my dads house in the country. I feel much more relaxed, less anxious and less stressed. Work was just so toxic for me I am instantly feeling better.
I'm so happy for you! Relaxing can be the best thing for feeling better. Work can be very stressful, and for those with bipolar, it may be overwhelming at times to the point where we need some time off. I too have been playing much Wii. I'm glad you feel more relaxed...that's a huge thing that is not easily accomplished.
They have to pay you for your comp time if your company does comp time in lieu of overtime pay. You need to look into this wiht you HR dept. and fight that one, especially if you have quite a bit accumulate.
Just another thought if you know you're going to have to go back after your paid leave is up, have you thought about looking for another job? If you used all of your paid leave, what are you going to do for the rest of the year, with this disorder we frequently have to miss work....
I will again talk to the HR people about paying me for comp time. I have 26 hours of comp time accumulated (about a week). She said no at first but I will press the issue. Thank you. I talked to my therapist last night and she thinks that I should look for another job if I feel that I can go back to work. She stated that she does not think that I should go back to my current job at all. She stated that sometimes people just need like 2 weeks off and if my job wouldnt give me vacation time then I did the right thing by taking the FMLA. She stated that I should not feel guilty about doing it as I am entitiled to it. I feel so much better since I have been off. I have been thinking about taking a BA level position instead of MSW level position so that I wont be so stressed. My husband is also thinking about moving out of NY. He feels that we live a stress free life when we are not in NY. I tend to agree. So this week I am going back up to my dads to look at houses. I went on careerbuilder today to see what the job market is out there. I am taking it slow as I have a little over a month of paid leave so I dont need to rush into anything. I takked to an HR person today and he was like "oh your taking a medical leave". I said no I am taking a FMLA there is a difference. I had to put him into his place because he was trying to make me say that I was taking something else- sneaky!!!!!!! I have to stay on top of them.