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Hannah Blecter  
#21 Posted : Monday, December 2, 2019 6:35:01 PM(UTC)
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Never forget the title of the 3971.

Management will only use the "request" part.

You are not requesting FMLA leave. You are "notifying" them of it.

Remember to note when you first made mgmt aware of this. Because they will claim this was not proper notice. It would have been best if you had a disapproved 3971 from weeks ago. I don't recall if you do.

FMLA does require as much notice as possible, which you satisfied. But any sick leave can be ZERO notice. It all depends on when you knew.
Cntpfrm  
#22 Posted : Monday, December 2, 2019 7:29:55 PM(UTC)
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Let her put it in as LWOP and than file a complaint she’s knowingly and intentionally falsifying time and attendance records. Make sure she has a copy of approved FMLA, that way when she inputs it as LWOP, she can’t deny she knew which TACS code was appropriate.
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Hannah Blecter on 12/2/2019(UTC)
Hannah Blecter  
#23 Posted : Monday, December 2, 2019 8:25:53 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Cntpfrm Go to Quoted Post
Let her put it in as LWOP and than file a complaint she’s knowingly and intentionally falsifying time and attendance records. Make sure she has a copy of approved FMLA, that way when she inputs it as LWOP, she can’t deny she knew which TACS code was appropriate.


You put the FMLA number on the 3971 on the appropriate spot. That is all you give the local manager.

And even if it is not approved yet, you check the FMLA box and that is all. All the puppet manager does regarding FMLA on a 3971 is to input it in the system. Then HRSSC does the rest. If the locals have issues with suspected abuse of FMLA, there are procedures they can follow. But you locals in this case are just people who put your FMLA in the TACS system.

And, yes, if they give you LWOP or AWOL they will be in violation of FMLA laws. And you notify the union to file a grievance. And you take of your FMLA issues in addition to the union acting.

I don't recall all the details, but I think in this case both spouses work for the USPS. If so, and if the USPS wants to play games, the spouse not operated on could consider if maybe they are needed to take care of their spouse who was denied FMLA for surgery. Then put in a 3971 for FMLA SLDC. You have 80 hours available per leave year. I would stick it to them just to prove I could. It would be worth paying a doctor $35 or whatever they charge to fill out FMLA paperwork. Most surgeons would love for the spouse to care for the patient for a couple of weeks and could fill out the forms in a way that would be difficult to deny.

You don't need it in advance. You can call in and use it if you find you are suddenly needed. Just say sick leave dependent care, fmla, on the call or 3971. HRSSC would send the paperwork to you if the supervisor properly inputs FMLA. Then you have 10 days after receipt of the paperwork to get it filled out and submitted. If the supervisor does not input FMLA and you get no paperwork, that is on management.
Postal guy  
#24 Posted : Tuesday, December 3, 2019 4:08:22 AM(UTC)
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I did also get FMLA for just the day of the surgery, mine was approved & I had no problem taking the day off. We dont work in the same office, but my PM said "if you need any additional days just text me."

We used the online form to request unscheduled leave. We used her FMLA number & requested 56 hours for the following week. She did turn in a 3971 three weeks ago to let her PM know the surgery was scheduled, that was denied. She didnt input the request into eRMS (which then sends you FMLA paperwork) so we had to get our own paperwork from the NALC website. We then got our approval letters Saturday & she left another 3971 over the weekend. Monday morning the slip was left denied on her case, & her PM used her 30 minute (in office) lunch to berate her.

Were at the hospital now, shes in preop. I'll be using every channel possible to get this out there. I know that the PM wont have any repercussions from this if it's just a pay adjust grievance. I'll be calling & reporting to everyone possible for the next few days.
jello  
#25 Posted : Tuesday, December 3, 2019 6:30:33 AM(UTC)
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Find a good lawyer, make the PM and supervisors pay for their stupidity.
iridescent  
#26 Posted : Tuesday, December 3, 2019 7:43:50 AM(UTC)
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Can’t violate fmla. Union now. Get the surgery. Wow the post master.
iridescent  
#27 Posted : Tuesday, December 3, 2019 7:45:21 AM(UTC)
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Eeo. Eeo the postmaster. Just grieve any interim letters. Call in. Use fmla case number. If she gets an ii. Drs note. Fmla. Should be fine.
Hannah Blecter  
#28 Posted : Tuesday, December 3, 2019 10:47:20 AM(UTC)
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Hopefully, all denied 3971s had fmla marked. Then there are 2 fmla violations. Well, there have been about 10 probably. I would point to the one closest to the surgery first and let them say it was not enough notice. Then I would point to the one 3 weeks in advance. How much notice do people usually have before surgeries? 3 weeks is a lot and plenty of notification for management.

Strongly consider the no tolerance for violence in the workplace policy.

Management should be held accountable under FMLA. But it is the threats and creating a hostile work environment that is the worst and the easiest and best avenue for your wife to follow.

Your wife was told the manager would no longer "protect" her and that she would not like her new workplace (my generalization).

Look for the poster or letter in your office. If you don't find it, ask your nice manager for the information and stand there until you get it (politely--just don't wait too long to report this). Tell your manager you have no problem with him and you appreciate their kindness and understanding.

No tolerance--that is easily defined and understood. For the rest of her career, your wife's managers and coworkers will have to treat her properly or they risk getting dragged into this mess. Coworkers support managers because it gets them what they want. They won't support them if postal inspectors are looking into the workplace environment. The manager will be gone and the coworkers will be nodding to your wife in respect, either because they are afraid or because they appreciate she stood up to the manager.
Hannah Blecter  
#29 Posted : Tuesday, December 3, 2019 3:28:05 PM(UTC)
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I just thought I would add something from my experience and perspective. Management pretty much gets a pass regarding FMLA violations. Any search for justice or punishment will likely be disappointing. Because they have a history of getting away with FMLA violations and the upper managers protect them. It is not like the upper managers were not doing the same things and worse earlier in their career--and their winking at their subordinates doing it with impunity is also a horrible thing.

The threats in the workplace is a much easier avenue because no one wants to be on record of dismissing complaints. Because we all know that something bad can happen at any time. And it is often "the quiet ones" who explode. So you never know what to expect or from whom. Managers are afraid to be on record of ignoring or not taking seriously complaints in this area. With FMLA they can throw the complaint in the trash and never have it bite them later. They cannot know that regarding workplace atmosphere complaints because they never know when something will happen that cannot be swept under the rug. It does not matter how much a manager may hate an employee. If there has been a complaint, they have to smile through gritted teeth. It is one of the best ways to make managers hate their jobs or their poor decision to threaten an employee (especially when they involve other employees in the personal business of coworkers).

If you ever saw the training tapes shown to Postmasters, you would think they would never speak of the personal business of employees. According to the video, they will be threatened by their superior until they peed their pants and would know they would be fired if it ever happened again. That is my description of the video I saw. So if you get such things out in the open and on the record (written complaint), managers can be in a precarious position even if their boss hates you as much or more.
MPE2009  
#30 Posted : Tuesday, December 3, 2019 5:20:44 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Postal guy Go to Quoted Post
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.


They are not charging her with LWOP, they are giving her LWOP and not SL. Their defense will be that it was not approved leave and therefore did not meet the ELM postal pay policies for leave. The leave itself is however protected and no disciplinary action may be taken due to the type of leave approved. Labor and the POOM most likely agreed to that part of what your wife was told as a matter of policy. Everything she said beyond that is a threat, harassment and likely illegal. Also based upon the size of office you stated in the opening post, they're having a panic attack during peak season, because your wife's absence will greatly interfere with their performing their job of getting the mail out. Hopefully you have witnesses and made notes, even wrote a preliminary statement of facts and events. Leave out the histrionics however, stick to the facts. File for the hostile work environment, esp if you have witnesses. The real battle starts later when they either attempt to issue discipline for the absence, which is likely illegal and for any subsequent discipline issued as a retaliation for having taken off for the surgery. Then again there may never be any discipline issued either for the absence or future events once they get over themselves and deal with a very unpleasant situation. Nobody in an office of only 4 or 5 routes, which is short staffed wants to be abandoned during peak season by 20% of their carriers. So hopefully they'll get their heads out and be professional afterwards. But don't ever forget their actions and CYA, take notes. Archive those notes. You choose later about forgiveness if things go back to normal, but never forget. Regardless whatever hardship this causes their office, their actions are reprehensible.
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Hannah Blecter on 12/3/2019(UTC)
MPE2009  
#31 Posted : Tuesday, December 3, 2019 5:28:04 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Cntpfrm Go to Quoted Post
Let her put it in as LWOP and than file a complaint she’s knowingly and intentionally falsifying time and attendance records. Make sure she has a copy of approved FMLA, that way when she inputs it as LWOP, she can’t deny she knew which TACS code was appropriate.


FMLA only guarantees you protected leave. It does not guarantee paid leave. Any leave you take must still meet postal pay policies. That is the current stand of the post office on paid leave and therefore the PM is not falsifying anything. If the PM disapproves the leave, she still has to account for the employee's time away from work. It will be entered as LWOP according to this thread. That's not falsification in any way.
Hannah Blecter  
#32 Posted : Tuesday, December 3, 2019 5:55:30 PM(UTC)
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USPS and unions have come to agreement on some things to clarify how laws/rules/contracts will be applied. While FMLA does not guarantee paid leave, here is what M-01866 (11/24/15) says on page 9:

"Under FMLA, the employee may request substitution of paid leave for the 12 workweeks
(12 times the employee's normal scheduled hours per week) of unpaid absence per year
in accordance with normal leave policies and bargaining unit agreements. However,
under Postal Service policy an employee may use LWOP for an FMLA-covered absence."

Not wanting an employee to get surgery is not a good reason to deny the use of sick leave, whether FMLA or not.

I contend that there is no reason for mgmt to claim sick leave cannot be used for this surgery, especially since there is no reason even without FMLA approval.

I believe falling for mgmt's contention that postal manuals require approval for sick leave is falling for mgmt's bullshut. It is their way to violate your rights as an employee. It is management saying they don't have to follow laws or their agreements because they can get away with whatever they want.

Stand up for yourself instead of falling down in a management cow pie.

Edited by user Tuesday, December 3, 2019 5:57:00 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Hannah Blecter  
#33 Posted : Tuesday, December 3, 2019 6:13:09 PM(UTC)
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The idea of unpaid leave at the employee's choice was because many people don't have 12 weeks of paid leave available in ANY year. So they really needed that provision for their protection/benefit.

Since Postal employees may have enough paid leave, I believe the intent of the M-01866 was to clarify that postal employees may choose to use their earned paid leave even though it was not guaranteed in the general FMLA rules. And, of course, FMLA also gives the postal employees the new choice of LWOP for an approved condition.

I would like to know how this has worked out when the union has had to fight managers who want to harm postal workers with LWOP while hiding behind rules that they apply on a whim based on whether they like the employee or not.

And I would contend that a manager does not like someone if they are threatening them that they won't like their new reality at work after the manager also spoke to coworkers of the employee.
Cntpfrm  
#34 Posted : Tuesday, December 3, 2019 7:25:47 PM(UTC)
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If you read all of the MOU, it clarifies that the use of sick leave, annual leave, COP, LWOP or a combination may be used for such absences in keeping with postal leave policies, if LWOP is requested, then it must be approved by management.

“Under FMLA, the employee may request substitution of paid leave for the 12 workweeks (12 times the employee's normal scheduled hours per week) of unpaid absence per year in accordance with normal leave policies and bargaining unit agreements. However, under Postal Service policy an employee may use LWOP for an FMLA-covered absence.”

The inference made in the above paragraph is that it is the employees choice as to what type of leave he or she will use for approved FMLA leave as long as the employee has sufficient leave to use. The only leave that has to be approved specifically under this MOU is LWOP when the employee lacks sufficient paid leave or chooses LWOP in place of paid leave.

“ Employee Rights: For postal employees, with the exception of military caregiver leave, the leave year begins with the first full pay period that begins in a calendar year and ends with the start of the next year . Up to 12 work weeks of annual leave, sick leave, continuation of pay, LWOP, or a combination of these, depending on the situation, may be used for FMLA-covered conditions. LWOP must be approved for a covered absence when requested by an eligible employee. The CB leave may be taken in a single block of time, in separate blocks, or intermittently depending on the condition and the medical necessity for the leave.”

Edited by user Tuesday, December 3, 2019 7:53:15 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

MPE2009  
#35 Posted : Wednesday, December 4, 2019 5:41:54 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Cntpfrm Go to Quoted Post
If you read all of the MOU, it clarifies that the use of sick leave, annual leave, COP, LWOP or a combination may be used for such absences in keeping with postal leave policies, if LWOP is requested, then it must be approved by management.

“Under FMLA, the employee may request substitution of paid leave for the 12 workweeks (12 times the employee's normal scheduled hours per week) of unpaid absence per year in accordance with normal leave policies and bargaining unit agreements. However, under Postal Service policy an employee may use LWOP for an FMLA-covered absence.”

The inference made in the above paragraph is that it is the employees choice as to what type of leave he or she will use for approved FMLA leave as long as the employee has sufficient leave to use. The only leave that has to be approved specifically under this MOU is LWOP when the employee lacks sufficient paid leave or chooses LWOP in place of paid leave.

“ Employee Rights: For postal employees, with the exception of military caregiver leave, the leave year begins with the first full pay period that begins in a calendar year and ends with the start of the next year . Up to 12 work weeks of annual leave, sick leave, continuation of pay, LWOP, or a combination of these, depending on the situation, may be used for FMLA-covered conditions. LWOP must be approved for a covered absence when requested by an eligible employee. The CB leave may be taken in a single block of time, in separate blocks, or intermittently depending on the condition and the medical necessity for the leave.”


My point is/was that the employee is only entitled to LWOP under the law, not paid leave. Therefore it is not falsification if the PM denies paid leave and uses LWOP. However it may or may not be a contractual violation and therefore is a grievable offense.

TheRealOrange  
#36 Posted : Wednesday, December 4, 2019 7:06:22 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: MPE2009 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Cntpfrm Go to Quoted Post
If you read all of the MOU, it clarifies that the use of sick leave, annual leave, COP, LWOP or a combination may be used for such absences in keeping with postal leave policies, if LWOP is requested, then it must be approved by management.

“Under FMLA, the employee may request substitution of paid leave for the 12 workweeks (12 times the employee's normal scheduled hours per week) of unpaid absence per year in accordance with normal leave policies and bargaining unit agreements. However, under Postal Service policy an employee may use LWOP for an FMLA-covered absence.”

The inference made in the above paragraph is that it is the employees choice as to what type of leave he or she will use for approved FMLA leave as long as the employee has sufficient leave to use. The only leave that has to be approved specifically under this MOU is LWOP when the employee lacks sufficient paid leave or chooses LWOP in place of paid leave.

“ Employee Rights: For postal employees, with the exception of military caregiver leave, the leave year begins with the first full pay period that begins in a calendar year and ends with the start of the next year . Up to 12 work weeks of annual leave, sick leave, continuation of pay, LWOP, or a combination of these, depending on the situation, may be used for FMLA-covered conditions. LWOP must be approved for a covered absence when requested by an eligible employee. The CB leave may be taken in a single block of time, in separate blocks, or intermittently depending on the condition and the medical necessity for the leave.”

My point is/was that the employee is only entitled to LWOP under the law, not paid leave. Therefore it is not falsification if the PM denies paid leave and uses LWOP. However it may or may not be a contractual violation and therefore is a grievable offense.

Actually, the law allows an employee to elect paid leave. It also allows the employer to require the use of paid leave. Here are the relevant provisions in the statute:

SEC. 102. LEAVE REQUIREMENT .

(a) IN GENERAL.--

(1) ENTITLEMENT TO LEAVE.--Subject to section 103, an eligible employee shall be entitled to a total of 12 workweeks of leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following: [List Omitted.]

(c) UNPAID LEAVE PERMITTED. -- Except as provided in subsection (d), leave granted under subsection (a) may consist of unpaid leave. Where an employee is otherwise exempt under regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to section 13(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 213(a)(1)), the compliance of an employer with this title by providing unpaid leave shall not affect the exempt status of the employee under such section.

(d) RELATIONSHIP TO PAID LEAVE.--

(1) UNPAID LEAVE.--If an employer provides paid leave for fewer than 12 workweeks (or 26 workweeks in the case of leave provided under subsection (a)(3)), the additional weeks of leave necessary to attain the 12 workweeks (or 26 workweeks, as appropriate) of leave required under this title may be provided without compensation.

(2) SUBSTITUTION OF PAID LEAVE.--

(A) IN GENERAL.--An eligible employee may elect, or an employer may require the employee, to substitute any of the accrued paid vacation leave, personal leave, or family leave of the employee for leave provided under subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (E)of subsection (a)(1) for any part of the 12-week period of such leave under such subsection.

(B) SERIOUS HEALTH CONDITION.--An eligible employee may elect, or an employer may require the employee, to substitute any of the accrued paid vacation leave, personal leave, or medical or sick leave of the employee for leave provided under subparagraph (C) or (D) of subsection (a)(1) for any part of the 12-week period of such leave under such subsection, except that nothing in this title shall require an employer to provide paid sick leave or paid medical leave in any situation in which such employer would not normally provide any such paid leave. An eligible employee may elect, or an employer may require the employee, to substitute any of the accrued paid vacation leave, personal leave, family leave, or medical or sick leave of the employee for leave provided under subsection (a)(3) for any part of the 26-week period of such leave under such subsection, except that nothing in this title requires an employer to provide paid sick leave or paid medical leave in any situation in which the employer would not normally provide any such paid leave.

[Bold Added.]
Postal guy  
#37 Posted : Thursday, December 5, 2019 4:56:56 AM(UTC)
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So we checked her Virtual Timecard & her PM did input her for LWOP Family Medical Leave. Is there any way we can get this reversed before the pay period ends this Friday? I've seen a lot of conflicting information here in regards to this. Is this a labor relations issue? An HR issue? Should we call our district labor or HR, or call HRSSC?

Its Christmas time, and it isn't like we absolutely need this paycheck, but of all times of the year for her to be missing money, even if we get it back after a grievance.. I'd just like to have it fixed before the pay period ends.

Any advice?
jello  
#38 Posted : Thursday, December 5, 2019 6:25:03 AM(UTC)
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Here's a contact # you can try. This is from Fedweek. Ask a professional who knows Federal law. https://fedpractice.com
jello  
#39 Posted : Thursday, December 5, 2019 6:50:16 AM(UTC)
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I found this older thread on the same issue. Sorry this BS goes on at the PO but get the NBA on board asap. I'm also taking FMLA for surgery on Monday. I know it's during the holiday but it's taken 7 months to get to this point with the surgeon. I expect they will try to LWOP me also.
https://forum.federalsou...s&t=41181#post448483
Hannah Blecter  
#40 Posted : Thursday, December 5, 2019 8:44:56 AM(UTC)
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I might send a certified letter to both the local PM and also District Labor. District just to get them in on any FMLA criminal activity. Remember, your locals are mouthpieces for District Managers and District Labor. And they are all so brave that they will hide behind each other instead of being honest and honorable persons. They are all liars. If you don't believe me, ask them.
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