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Postal guy  
#1 Posted : Thursday, November 14, 2019 7:07:14 AM(UTC)
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After 3 months of waiting for insurance to approve of it, my wife (regular city carrier) is having surgery for a deviated septum. It is scheduled for Dec 3, the only day before Christmas her doctor had available. She's been living with discomfort in her nasal breathing for a while now & it's finally been approved so shes excited. However, her postmaster is telling her that her request for FMLA Sick Leave is being denied (PM claims the POOM & labor wont allow her to approve it) because of staffing. There are 4 routes and one aux, but one carrier has been out for over a year with a medically issue & there is someone on approved vacation that week.

Is there any reason or anyway that the PM can deny her to request FMLA? Is there a way she can drag her feet with the request so it isn't approved in time? The PM is saying it is an elective surgery & therefore isn't FMLA eligible, however from my understanding once she has the surgery it will be a serious medical condition that needs time off for.

Anyone have any similar issues with FMLA being approved or challenged?
Cntpfrm  
#2 Posted : Thursday, November 14, 2019 7:21:47 AM(UTC)
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Your PM and POOM have no say in FMLA requests or approvals. That goes through shared services. Call the hotline and request FMLA paperwork to be sent to your wife. Have the doctor fill out in detail the reason for her absence, as well as the duration for the surgery as well as any recovery time. Submit it to shared services and wait for THIER decision. Once a case has been approved for FMLA protection, the PM and POOM can pound sand or risk violating federal law.
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Postal guy on 12/2/2019(UTC)
roger.d  
#3 Posted : Thursday, November 14, 2019 7:25:35 AM(UTC)
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https://www.nalc.org/wor...administration-unit/fmla

Use the Form 1 from the link below. The Dr will appreciate the 2 page form instead of the 8 (?) page form HR will send you.
Learn to discipline yourself, so someone else doesn't have to
MPE2009  
#4 Posted : Thursday, November 14, 2019 7:35:56 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Postal guy Go to Quoted Post
After 3 months of waiting for insurance to approve of it, my wife (regular city carrier) is having surgery for a deviated septum. It is scheduled for Dec 3, the only day before Christmas her doctor had available. She's been living with discomfort in her nasal breathing for a while now & it's finally been approved so shes excited. However, her postmaster is telling her that her request for FMLA Sick Leave is being denied (PM claims the POOM & labor wont allow her to approve it) because of staffing. There are 4 routes and one aux, but one carrier has been out for over a year with a medically issue & there is someone on approved vacation that week.

Is there any reason or anyway that the PM can deny her to request FMLA? Is there a way she can drag her feet with the request so it isn't approved in time? The PM is saying it is an elective surgery & therefore isn't FMLA eligible, however from my understanding once she has the surgery it will be a serious medical condition that needs time off for.

Anyone have any similar issues with FMLA being approved or challenged?


You have a right to file for FMLA protected leave. Nobody has a right to deny your wife filing for FMLA leave. The doctor simply needs to fill out the paperwork and turn it in. If it is approved, you follow your doctor's orders. If it is denied, find out why and appeal it or rewrite the FMLA application so that it is approved. None of those named have any right nor input on your wife's FMLA application. They have a right only to their opinion, nothing more. Shared services will make that decision based upon documentation provided and the law.
Hannah Blecter  
#5 Posted : Thursday, November 14, 2019 8:12:46 AM(UTC)
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Love that the PM is a doctor. Keep detailed notes, with dates and times as much as possible. Then you will have them when these managers violate FMLA laws, which they already have.

Get the old-fashioned 3971 with the boxes on the back. Fill it out for whatever leave is being used and check the FMLA box on the back. There is no need to send in FMLA paperwork in advance. Then the manager is responsible for properly inputting the FMLA in the system. All the locals do is put the leave in the system. When they put FMLA as filled out on the form, HRSSC automatically sends you FMLA paperwork. Yes, you can do the shorter form. Mgmt hates that and will often mess with you by requesting more information. That is how they thumb their nose at the ruling that the NALC form is sufficient. Use whatever form you want.

You don't have to use FMLA for a surgery. And it does not matter how many employees are available to cover for the absence. That is management's problem. So there should not be an issue, even if the employee is on restricted sick leave--because they could supply a note from the doctor even without FMLA. So it will not matter if the manager fails to input the FMLA. Plus, they have already taken a verbal position on that and you want that in your notes.

Fill out the half-page 3971 (with the boxes on the back) in triplicate. Use a carbon so that the original checkmark on the FMLA box is on the original 3971. Then both copies will have a carbon checkmark on the back of them. (Be careful lining up the forms so the checkmarks are clearly shown on the carbon copies.) Don't verbally mention the FMLA request--just have the checkmark and leave it at that. Submit the three forms and request that the last copy be returned to you with the manager's signature acknowledging the submission. They don't have to approve or deny at that time. They then have the original and a copy. They are required to act on the 3971 and give you their decision in writing. Your local may state that if they do not issue their decision in 3 days that it is automatically approved. Check the LMOU.

If they deny the leave, they have violated the FMLA laws. Then go ahead and have the surgery, calling in the morning of. You have already given them proper notice. I would call the manager and tell them you already submitted the form. I would not do the automatic phone system because then you have to specify FMLA again if you wish. And the phone system won't fail to honor your FMLA request like the manager might. Personally, I would not request FMLA twice. I would refer to the first request (but I would not state FMLA again) and tell them I am getting my surgery. Then if mgmt comes after you they are again violating FMLA because they improperly denied it (if that is the case) and now they are trying to punish you for FMLA use. My desire would be to allow them to do so--that is why I would not call the automated system.

These managers would have already gone out on a limb by violating FMLA (if they denied the 3971 on which the FMLA was requested). You can saw it off now by reporting them. But I would let them hang themselves on that limb by doing what I have suggested.

HAVE AND DON'T LET GO OF A 3971 WITH FMLA BOX CHECKED AND DENIED BY A MANAGER IF THEY DO SO. BECAUSE THE ORIGINAL WILL DISAPPEAR ONCE YOU BRING UP THE ILLEGAL DENIAL OF FMLA--BECAUSE MGMT WILL SAY, "WHAT FMLA REQUEST?"

It does not matter how many employees are on vacation, etc. Local, or even District, managers are not in the position to approve or deny FMLA. Ignore anything they say, but make a note of it. Their little, tiny job (which matches their competency) is to have your FMLA request input in the computer. Put this form in now so you have proof you have given notice well in advance. All verbal stuff will be denied by management.

You may submit management violations on the OIG hotline. You can also contact a person from Congress. I assure you management LOVES getting a "congressional". (sarcasm)

Edited by user Thursday, November 14, 2019 8:22:16 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

postalvet  
#6 Posted : Thursday, November 14, 2019 10:26:01 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Postal guy Go to Quoted Post
After 3 months of waiting for insurance to approve of it, my wife (regular city carrier) is having surgery for a deviated septum. It is scheduled for Dec 3, the only day before Christmas her doctor had available. She's been living with discomfort in her nasal breathing for a while now & it's finally been approved so shes excited. However, her postmaster is telling her that her request for FMLA Sick Leave is being denied (PM claims the POOM & labor wont allow her to approve it) because of staffing. There are 4 routes and one aux, but one carrier has been out for over a year with a medically issue & there is someone on approved vacation that week.

Is there any reason or anyway that the PM can deny her to request FMLA? Is there a way she can drag her feet with the request so it isn't approved in time? The PM is saying it is an elective surgery & therefore isn't FMLA eligible, however from my understanding once she has the surgery it will be a serious medical condition that needs time off for.

Anyone have any similar issues with FMLA being approved or challenged?





do you have your local union involved???



if not local how about the nba for your area??



do it asap as time is ticking.
Postal employee (retired) 38 yrs who helps even if some do not believe me! I was a Steward, officer & trouble maker. Just Sayin'
LeroyToliver  
#7 Posted : Thursday, November 14, 2019 6:28:06 PM(UTC)
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Apply as soon as possible and tell her to be weary of any new 'supervisor' being brought in just to frustrate the effort. They will occasionally bring in a here today gone tomorrow supervisor to do the dirty work and then they disappear. Look up section 105 of FMLA under prohibited actions for employers and keep a look out for violations.

If you have any such trouble an investigation can begin as to this 'supervisors' work history and practices surrounding FMLA through the DOL and your local State Rep (not the union). In short, just get the narrative and paperwork filled out and you will be protected so long as she meets the hour requirement. The only exception to the 1250 hours is if your employer had somehow manipulated your hours during the past year so that you didn't make 1250 but that usually falls to the OWCP crowd to deal with. Also be weary of any union that thinks local agreements or practices supercede your federal labor rights.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/29/825.220

Edited by user Thursday, November 14, 2019 7:01:49 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Postal guy  
#8 Posted : Monday, December 2, 2019 7:00:26 AM(UTC)
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She called the local union & a message was not returned. She emailed the local union & did not receive a response.

We used the FMLA forms on the NALC website and it was approved. She got an FMLA case number. She resubmitted her 3971 & her PM denied it, again, today. The surgery is tomorrow, with no work until her follow up 7 days later, approved through FMLA.

What does she do? Is there any repercussion for her not showing up to work without an approved 3971, even though FMLA was approved for this case??

Thanks for all the help thus far, you've been very helpful.
postalvet  
#9 Posted : Monday, December 2, 2019 7:04:40 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Postal guy Go to Quoted Post
She called the local union & a message was not returned. She emailed the local union & did not receive a response.

We used the FMLA forms on the NALC website and it was approved. She got an FMLA case number. She resubmitted her 3971 & her PM denied it, again, today. The surgery is tomorrow, with no work until her follow up 7 days later, approved through FMLA.

What does she do? Is there any repercussion for her not showing up to work without an approved 3971, even though FMLA was approved for this case??

Thanks for all the help thus far, you've been very helpful.


call the 800 number and put in for 7 days. it should ask for the fmla number put it in.

worry about everything else after they get better.

keep calling union

call the nba!
Postal employee (retired) 38 yrs who helps even if some do not believe me! I was a Steward, officer & trouble maker. Just Sayin'
jello  
#10 Posted : Monday, December 2, 2019 7:55:39 AM(UTC)
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Your wife's supervisor can be sued for any attempt to violate FMLA law.
https://www.wphealthcare...ued-for-fmla-violations/
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roger.d on 12/2/2019(UTC)
roger.d  
#11 Posted : Monday, December 2, 2019 8:30:07 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: postalvet Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Postal guy Go to Quoted Post
She called the local union & a message was not returned. She emailed the local union & did not receive a response.

We used the FMLA forms on the NALC website and it was approved. She got an FMLA case number. She resubmitted her 3971 & her PM denied it, again, today. The surgery is tomorrow, with no work until her follow up 7 days later, approved through FMLA.

What does she do? Is there any repercussion for her not showing up to work without an approved 3971, even though FMLA was approved for this case??

Thanks for all the help thus far, you've been very helpful.


call the 800 number and put in for 7 days. it should ask for the fmla number put it in.

worry about everything else after they get better.

keep calling union

call the nba!



Is the Web site available now for sick leave notification?


Learn to discipline yourself, so someone else doesn't have to
Hannah Blecter  
#12 Posted : Monday, December 2, 2019 8:49:57 AM(UTC)
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She should call the supervisor as soon as she leaves work (be off the clock and off the premises) and make the notification telling them she won't be there tomorrow and give them her best estimate as to the length of absence. She should be on speaker phone with a good witness to the conversation.

Google one-party and two-party states. If you are a one-party state, you are permitted to record phone calls without telling the other person or receiving their permission. You should record the phone call if possible.

Make clear you have approved FMLA. I would read the case number when I made the call.

Upper management won't take the managers to task for violating laws because they are peas in a pod. I hope you will. If we all did, these managers would suffer a little of what they should.

Let me be clear: No manager who has the authority to cause repercussions for this manager will care or will do anything to them. It does not matter what they tell you to your face. This manager will leave this knowing full well they can do this again the next day to anyone. The lack of consequences will even encourage them to do it as a matter of course.

I have the T-shirt and it fits everyone in the USPS.
Hannah Blecter  
#13 Posted : Monday, December 2, 2019 10:56:30 AM(UTC)
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p.s. Union generally does not care, either. Unless somehow your issue with the manager gives a union officer/steward some ammo for some other purpose of theirs.

Yes, you should use the union because you pay for it (hopefully). But if you want protection and want the manager to know you won't let them get away with abusing you, you need to report the FMLA violations and be willing to pursue the matter on your own. You can report it to the OIG, I believe. Reports to someone in Congress are always something mgmt hates. Those are wonderful.

But you can also make sure you have records and proof. If you don't have a recording (or even if you do), have detailed contemporaneous notes with dates and times. It is cheap to make a copy of a week's worth of notes and mail them to yourself. Keep the unopened letter with the original notes so you know what is in the envelope.

Then don't do anything more if you don't want to hassle with it. Just wait until management tries to violate some more laws by disciplining you. Laugh in their face and give them some more rope. When it actually hits the fan you can take them down at that point. Who knows? By then there will be some District personnel who have become involved in the crimes and you can give them the finger, also.
Cntpfrm  
#14 Posted : Monday, December 2, 2019 2:52:46 PM(UTC)
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At this point, I’d start documenting everything management is doing. Keep copies of the denied leave slips, write down everything the supervisors and Postmaster say in regards to her leave. File a complaint with OIG and the Department of Labor who handles FMLA violations. And understand that No one in Management has the right to violate FMLA laws. Her FMLA leave is approved and that is that.
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Hannah Blecter on 12/2/2019(UTC)
Cntpfrm  
#15 Posted : Monday, December 2, 2019 2:57:23 PM(UTC)
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How to File a Complaint
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is responsible for administering and enforcing the Family and Medical Leave Act for most employees.
If you have questions, or you think that your rights under the FMLA may have been violated, you can contact WHD at 1-866-487-9243. You will be directed to the WHD office nearest you for assistance. There are over 200 WHD offices throughout the country staffed with trained professionals to help you.
The information below is useful when filing a complaint with WHD:
■ your name
■ your address and phone number (how you can be contacted)
■ the name of the company where you work or worked
■ location of the company (this may be different than the actual job site where you worked)
■ phone number of the company
■ manager or owner’s name
■ the circumstances of your FMLA request and your employer’s response
Your employer is prohibited from interfering with, restraining, or denying the exercise of FMLA rights, retaliating against you for filing a complaint and cooperating with the Wage and Hour Division, or bringing a private action to court. You should contact the Wage and Hour Division immediately if your employer retaliates against you for engaging in any of these legally protected activities.
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Hannah Blecter on 12/2/2019(UTC), Postal guy on 12/2/2019(UTC)
Hannah Blecter  
#16 Posted : Monday, December 2, 2019 3:10:51 PM(UTC)
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I put my t-shirt on to tell you this. I recommend you do file complaint. Management will lie even if you have documentation and no one will care if you have documentation and no one will punish or harm the miscreants.

All of that is all the more reason you want all the proof you can have.

And don't think that denied 3971 you think is in the official paperwork at your office will be there.

If you did not get the denial in writing you would have made it even easier for management. If you don't have paperwork it does not exist.

But, again, no amount of proof will cause punishment to postal managers. All you can control is to protect yourself. Don't trust any postal managers and do not expect any agencies (OIG and Postal Inspectors, DOL, etc.) to do anything you know they are supposed to do. They are as bad as postal managers. They only do what they want and what benefits them. They care nothing about any oath of office, law, or anything else you should expect them to respect. What you can expect is for managers to lie to them and for them to tell you there is nothing to see here.
Postal guy  
#17 Posted : Monday, December 2, 2019 5:57:36 PM(UTC)
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We will be filing a complaint with anyone & everyone we can. I really appreciate all the info & will keep you posted.

The PM told her once more today that it was denied. She told my wife she was selfish. She told her the other carriers will hate her for abandoning them & making them carry her route. She told her that FMLA only protects you from being terminated, but she will still be disciplined. She told her she would no longer "protect" her & that she would be disciplined for anything shes caught doing like using her cell phone on the route. She basically said "there will be reprecussions" without using those exact words.

The PM also apparently told someone else that she spoke with her POOM & labor, & that she will charge her with LWOP instead of SL because it wasnt approved.

All the union would say is "if she doesnt pay you we can try to fight that." No other help was given.
Hannah Blecter  
#18 Posted : Monday, December 2, 2019 6:21:32 PM(UTC)
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Wow! It would be great if there are witnesses.

You need to call the hotline regarding threats in the workplace.

What you described violated the no tolerance policy regarding violence in the workplace.

I don't have the number handy, but if no one posts it, I will do so after googling.

Maybe I got the wrong vibe, but it certainly seems to fit the bill to me of creating a hostile workplace.

You said "protect". I believe that is highly significant.
Hannah Blecter  
#19 Posted : Monday, December 2, 2019 6:26:36 PM(UTC)
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"The Postal Service is committed to fostering a positive and safe work environment that’s free of threats, fear and violence for all employees.

To help fulfill this commitment, a Threat Assessment Team is available at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC, and in all area and district offices to respond to threats and potential violence.

Team members are trained to assess the danger or harm of threats, whether implied or direct. The goals are to reduce risks to employees and the Postal Service, discourage inappropriate behavior and resolve conflicts.

If you’ve been threatened or believe you’re in a potentially unsafe situation that involves a co-worker or supervisor — or if you’re experiencing a domestic violence situation that could pose a threat in the workplace — notify your immediate supervisor and respective Threat Assessment Team.

The zero tolerance policy and reporting procedures will be distributed by the end of March.

Report emergency situations to the Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455 or call 911. The Postal Inspection Service number is monitored 24/7"

You could contact the area office, which would be over the District, since it appears layers of district to local management are already involved.
This shouldn't warrant the emergency number listed, but I would not tell you not to call it. Or go to OIG website or find another postal inspection service number.
Hannah Blecter  
#20 Posted : Monday, December 2, 2019 6:30:34 PM(UTC)
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This is SUPER significant:

"The PM also apparently told someone else"

Report the name of that PM and the name of the "someone else" as part of your complaint.

Management involving coworkers is extremely inappropriate and would be a huge part of promoting bad work environment.

You providing the name of the coworker takes this to another level. It shows management is "creating".
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