FMLA rules as thick as a phone book? Be prepared for FMLA interference lawsuit — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

FMLA rules as thick as a phone book? Be prepared for FMLA interference lawsuit

by on
in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Here’s a warning for employers looking for ways to cut ab­­sen­­teeism: Don’t do anything that makes it harder for employees to use FMLA leave.

“Creative” rules that end up discouraging legitimate FMLA use or punishing those who take FMLA leave are bound to cause trouble, as one large company facing multiple lawsuits has discovered.

Recent case: Thirty-seven current and former Verizon Communications employees sued the company and its affiliates, alleging that Verizon had a set of FMLA rules that discouraged and punished taking legitimate FMLA leave.

Here’s how the process worked. When employees knew they were going to be absent, no matter the reason, they were supposed to call their supervisor or an absence administrator, who would enter the information into the company’s Absence Tracking System. That triggered a basic determination if the employee was eligible for FMLA leave, based on having worked the requisite hours and l...(register to read more)

To read the rest of this article you must first register with your email address.

Email Address:

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Finding a way to get even December 26, 2014 at 3:16 pm

I also worked for Verizons front line and was damn good at my job. Being commended not only by supervisors but higher ups, I contracted an illness that lead to bronchitis and it put me out of work for about 2 weeks. Needing to go to the doctor, I was told that unless I had vacation time (this was the very beginning of the year) they would be unable to accommodate me. Complaining to the union only fell on deaf ears and eventually due to the fact my sugar stayed out of control, I ended up in the hospital more times than I wished. While I was out one of those times, the company decided to fire me even though my doctor had written to them explaining the situation, Never would they find me doing anything other than what my doctor told me to do so that wasn’t even an excuse. Years later a million dollar lawsuit for EEOC came up and I won that lawsuit … the settlement was VERY low as it was just a drop in the bucket for myself and others on that suit. We didn’t get our jobs back as that was not part of the settlement and getting a job now is dismal. I would like to know if I could also be a part of this … I do have a story to tell and that was only a small part of it as it is to long. Thank you all and I hope all goes well for all of us … BTW, for a company that makes BILLIONS every year, again this 70 million is just SHUT UP money


clara December 5, 2014 at 8:18 pm

I have worked for a large hospital in Orlando for 8 years, I was hired in late 2006 full time RN, but on my way to work between to 12 hour night shifts, I was hit involved in an mvc by an at fault driver, that shattered my knee cap, I worked full time for 6 years, when I came back to work, my knee cap never healed non-union fx comminuted, and unstable, they asked me after eight months of a perfect work history evaluations to go part time, and by the end of the year I had qualified for fmla serious health condition. However, I only used it a few times only four one year total of all. I went back to the orthopedic surgeon to get my fmla papers renewed because my supervisor in september said, I could not call in sick for a year cause I was absent four times. So I went to my surgeon MRI’s, x-rays where performed nothing healed or changed. I was denied because I had only worked at this time 1055 hours, however they approved my fmla just this past June. An FMLA lawyer is reviewing this supervisor for misinformation, and human resources never responded to my emails inquiring what I should do despite the medical certification papers where completed in full. I feel companies are hurting there employees who are suffering some major disabilities and it’s because they think employees want to abuse it. I need to work to pay my morgage. This is such a sad, sad, sad, way of our society. Not all employees are lawsuit crazy, we just need help. Hopefully they never have misfortune.


Susan December 8, 2014 at 2:43 am

I am sorry for what has and still is happening to you…I was approved for short term FMLA but when I had to go out for awhile everything got screwed up. Not to mention my ‘supervisors’ lovely letter to get back to work or else. Being out is like doing a Full Time Secretarial job. I finally got approved and they paid me. Then they said they Overpaid me which I still disagree with but I felt there was nothing I could do. So, instead of ‘letting’ me pay back so much per month, they Stopped paying me for 6 Months!! I had to declare bankruptcy. Such a Bunch of BS!! I was out for a year and then went on LTD for 3 yrs 9 months. I finally just retired and I thought I was done with all this..NOT!!! The LTD company just sent me More Paperwork for me to fill out as well as 4 of my Drs….I am retired!! Why are they doing this??? I told them from the Beginning of trying to retire(it took FOUR MONTHS) and sent them all my paperwork. I just don’t get it but I have a feeling that somehow I will end up screwed Again…I hope everything works out for you.. I feel your pain….Good Luck.


ken taylor July 27, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Brutha paul
I work for verizon and just completed my 12th week of STD for RA and Metlife is now dragging their feet even though my doctor has filled out the extension paperwork to extend the STD until i reach LTD. At the moment i am still an active employee but i think that is about to change. Metlife said my claim has gone to clinician for review. I am very interested in finding out how you got your lawsuit started since i think i am going to be in the same boat. you can also reach me at 517-521-2576 my home number


JC March 21, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Could someone let me know how to contact those running this lawsuit. I was fired from Verizon NY several years ago. I was Verizon NY’s public enemy #1 for FMLA (as stated by BOTH the company AND the Union; Local AND National) and I had a 3rd liner after me for many years. He didn’t like that I had FMLA (permanently partially disabled from an on-the-job injury caused by Verizon’s negligence to provide and/or inform me of the existence of a certain piece of safety equipment for rolling ladders!) After MANY unsuccessful attempts to fire me, the company resorted to falsifying information in my G550 and charging me with wrong and illegitimate disciplinary steps. The Local NEVER did anything about it and let the steps proceed no matter how much I complained. Eventually I was fired from the disciplinary steps. I threatened the Local to contact the DOL and report not only the company, but also the Local for not acting on my complaints that led to false disciplinary steps being allowed to remain over the course of a couple of years. Of course they wanted to cover their butts and proceeded with grievances and eventual arbitration. It took them 3 years to finally sit my case. I met with the lawyer (Local chose to hire an outside lawyer, from 30th St[?] that they work with rather than their own) and the Local and National Reps on a few occasions. She, the lawyer, was salivating from the evidence and documents I had, as well as from contradicting documents provided by Verizon (the company provided her with one set of documents stating one thing and then another set contradicting the 1st set they gave her!). She was anxious and eager to get at them in the arbitration and expose things. I guess someone tipped the company off because next thing you know they were willing to give me back my job, partial $, ALL steps wiped away, and time bridged on as if I HAD worked those 3 years. I was getting screwed on (not getting!) compensation for medical expenses during those three years and from the majority of wages I would’ve made, but I had no choice since it had already been over 3 years, my unemployment had already run out, I had exhausted all my savings, & was at the point where I could no longer borrow $ from people. I am a single father and felt I had to accept their pathetic and insulting gesture for the benefit of my daughter. The lawyer was disappointed, but understood that I felt I couldn’t gamble with an arbitrator siding with Verizon and me not getting my job back (she admitted that even if the arbitrator found Verizon at fault, they could still decide that getting my job back was not a viable option and only a monetary award would be; so I HAD to take the safe bet for my daughter’s benefit!). I have been back to work for a few years now, but I would LOVE to continue to pursue ANYTHING that may get me some actual justice for what they have done! I am still dealing with financial issues that started from me being wrongfully fired. Again, I am in NY with Local 1101. I have had 1st hand experience with Verizon’s harassment towards those who have FMLA. My FMLA paperwork was ALWAYS in order and this is what made them mad. Calls and visits to my Dr’s, constant calls and visits to my house (I was there EVERY time to answer the door which pissed them off since they expected me to be out galavanting!), rules and procedures applied to me but not others, CONSTANT temporary transfers to other CO’s AND to different departments that were NOT related to my title, I had to report absences to a 3rd line mngr while EVERYONE else reported to a 1st liner, etc, etc, etc. Please let me know who I can contact so that I may join in the lawsuit and/or help in any way to expose this company and their ways!!!!


bumpy February 6, 2014 at 7:03 pm

I sent in anticipated disability form to get approval to go out 1 month early before having my baby and was told they can not process my request till I go out then what is the point of doing anticipated disability paper work I thought doing this ahead of time would give me the ok and let me know about pay status what a waste of time so now I have to sit a wonder if I will get approvedor denied like I need this stress in my 8th month


cwa June 25, 2013 at 6:34 pm
Lisa March 19, 2013 at 12:44 am

I was recently under review for separation for use of FMLA and was terminated. I was told I had hours that were not covered and I had no more hours available but oddly enough received a letter from met life 5 days later informing me of hours that were approved and when my FMLA would expire . I would be interested in joining the lawsuit myself. Serious hardship setting in for myself and my children and I had vacation time that could have been approved:


Fed Up December 16, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Who is handling the lawsuit and how can I contact them?. I’d like to join.


Elina October 5, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Well, I just found out that I am under “separation review” with Verizon Wireless. I had used all my allotted time with my FMLA. Although, my claim is approved, I can not use it for my medical needs, as no hours. You guessed it all the hours now denied, are placed under sick time. I suffer from IBS, and am an expectant mother. I have no control over my IBS condition and the effects it takes. I thought FMLA was there to assist. In my case apparently it doesn’t and I have no control over it. I feel this is not legally correct, and am looking for some answers or legal options, when and if I get terminated.


jim February 8, 2015 at 5:21 pm

You should have voted to join the Union Elina. Good luck to you


donna June 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm

I would like to add in my opinion it all depends of the reps attendance manager I know my manager would always tell us if need paperwork reviewed what to put on it and when need to be in I will agree metlife is a waste of time when it comes to the forms u apply for intermitten fmla and the say no cause the way the doc put it covered current absense then please tell me why it is called future intermittent dose future not mean has not happen yet not my present or past sickness. I got so mad just let it go and guess what moved to a step cause doc and I got so frustrated with the paperwork. As for the central office manager if u have a medical restriction or fmla guess who is on a list u bet fmla reps r and I know for a fact just had it happen the put me on a code of conduct violation on a day I could have been off phone but I choose to be on phone as I could handle and it hurt me wont ever do it again and know I have anxiety attacks wondering every day what will they get me on know


Rick Hamedl June 22, 2012 at 3:44 pm

I have a Federal law suit against Verizon & MetLife on many issues, including FMLA discrimination and the crooked IME doctor used by MetLife to railroad me and other workers. A 2nd level mgr. in my former Verizon shop said, ” I don’t like workers taking out of tour assignments, then going out on FMLA”. I hope my Judge sees through Verizon’s lawyers lies and smoke screens (closing arguements) and makes them stand trial. A jury of my peers will decide the damages caused during this nearly 5 year battle. If you have any info. against Verizon & or MetLife who administered the health plan for VZ, pls. call me @ 631 848-1059.


brutha paul February 6, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Hi Rick Hamedl
I am in the same boat as you. I have filed a lawsuit against Verizon and Metlife for denying the remainder of my short term disability and my long term disability. As you stated in your post above…some third party doctor (paid quack) ran through my file and determinded that I am mentally stable. Why thank you doctor….that is not my medical condition that is causing me from being at work. My conditions warrant me from being able to do the job that I was hired to do. Does not have anything to do with my mental status at all. If you are able, i would like to speak with you about your current case.


Leave a Comment