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Scared to file FMLA

So my PTO time is officially gone until June 7 when I refresh my days.  I had to use the last of it for emergency surgery for a potential molar pregnancy. (my family has been plagued with health issues this year!   we thought we were all relatively healthy).

My daughter is once again (UGH) coughing with a dry unproductive cough and I am so worried.  I hate leaving her with anyone else (even her dad sometimes!) I just feel like I want to be with her and monitor her myself when she has anything respiratory going on.   So it looks like I will be forced to file FMLA to protect myself.  My job hasnt given me any issues yet but I want to be cautious.

I am a little worried about filing… for some reason I feel like it's a negative strike on my record and I have been hesitating on filing.  

Has anyone else filed?   Why am I so worried about filing? (maybe I just worry too much in general LOL – something new to me on this whole parenthood journey) 

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  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs, Tiffany F! I can understand why you would be nervous, but it sounds like your company has been understanding so far. 

    Could you schedule a time to talk with your human resources department about the pros and cons of filing FMLA? 

    Like you said, one of the pros of FMLA is that it DOES protect your job. It also allows companies to plan better because they know that there is an issue and they will need to work around that.

    I've had to file FMLA numerous times, and with different companies. These were big chunks of time at once — 6 weeks to get over surgeries. With one company, I had to file for FMLA twice. I was very nervous the second time, but our HR department was great. 

    Here are some things I needed to know about FMLA that you might be able to ask your HR department about:

    • How does FMLA work at this company? Who is eligible for it? How do I apply for it?
    • Am I eligible to file for short-term disability so that I can get paid while I'm out?
    • Are there different kinds of FMLA? (a big chunk of time vs intermittent FMLA) Is there any difference in how that works and who is eligible?
    • What documentation do I need? When do I need it?
    • What will I be responsible to pay for while I'm out on FMLA? (I had to pay both my share of our insurance plus the company's contribution toward my insurance to keep us insured, and I still needed to make payments for any other insurance or benefit that was deducted out of my paycheck.)
    • How is my position/job secured with FMLA? 
    • What happens if I exhaust my FMLA?
    • How can I make things easier for the company while I'm on FMLA? Do I need to train another person to handle my responsibilities while I'm out?
    • Are there any alternatives to taking FMLA (working from home, working a flexible schedule, reducing my hours temporarily)

    Good luck! We're rooting for you!

  • Pljohns

    Tiffany-I filed intermittent FMLA and then converted it to full FMLA when I went out for 30 days of med leave.  I was scared too and felt like it would be a mark against me but it really protected my job.  Talk to your HR dept-that's why they are there.  So sorry your DD is having issues!!!

  • K8sMom2002

    @Tiffany F., what's the latest on your FMLA? How's your Baby Bee? I hope she's doing better!

  • Pljohns

    Family Medical leave act-it protects companies from firing you for extended absenses to care for specific medical issues.

  • K8sMom2002

    With FMLA, you get 12 unpaid weeks of leave if you need it for your own or a family member's illness. During that time, you can't be fired. You can be reassigned, but your job is safe. 

  • LK

    Ahh! Thank you for enlightening me!   

    I have heard of it, just one of those times when I couldn't think of what it stood for!