Fired after FMLA ran out, Can I collect unemployment in Florida?

by Scott
(Largo, Florida)

I hurt my back in a non work related injury. I was required to have surgery, which I did on 12/15. My FMLA ran out on 12/27/2008 and I was terminated on 12/31 because I cannot return to work because of my recovery time which is 6-8 months.


Hi Scott,

Here's the thing about regular unemployment benefits...You must be able and available for work. So you most likely would be found eligible on the separation, but you are not able and available for work, therefore, you can't collect.

Now on the other hand, if the doctor released you with work restrictions such as, no lifting over 10lbs. and the employer couldn't find anything for you to do with these restrictions, you would then be able and available to search for a job that meets the restrictions.

If you think you might be released to work with restrictions before the end of the 6-8 months, you should also consider the best time to open a claim. It is the date you first open an unemployment claim that determines your base period (the 12 months of wages that determine your weekly benefit amount.) In Florida the base period is the first 4 of the last five completed quarters.

Of course, this, like everything else, is subject to your states unemployment law and how it is interpreted by the state.

Federal guidelines allow any state to provide disability unemployment benefits, but only a very small handful do.

Chris

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My Wife is going tobe let go because FMLA time limit has been reached
by: Frank

Chris,
My Wife is going tobe let go because FMLA time limit has been reached. We live in Florida and she has been having lower abdomnial / womanly issue that forced her to lose work and have several operations, but they can't find a reason for her extream pain she is in for sometimes days at a time. None of the 10 or so doctors have found anything in lab work or and of the MRI, sonagram, xray, other scans.
They just keep pushing her onto another dr who says they same thing. Her primary had put her FMLA at 120 hrs a month and now she just got a letter that she has exhusted the FMLA coverage and her company (Verizon wireless) is going to let her go because they are considering the time she too before we were notified of the coverage ending as unexcused absentes.
Do you think she will qualify for unemployement? do you know how we can find what she should make on unemployement?
Frank



Frank,

I need to ask .. is she able to work?

Furloughed while on FMLA
by: Anonymous

i am currently on FMLA due to surgery on my elbow. I am able to go back to work with restrictions;however my job requires that no restrictions be put on me. I am scheduled to return to work on July 27 however I have received a fulough notice from my company. My question is am I entitled to unemployment benefits even though I have been on medical leave from my job?


Hi,

Furloughs .. you should call your unemployment department to verify that my reasoning is correct ..

I see them as a fixed period of time being laid off with a definite return to work date as long as you don't use a leave of absence or vacation time to offset the loss of wages.

Most states have what they call an "unpaid waiting week" in which you will not receive any UI benefits, but after that week you should start collecting unemployment or at least filing a claim to see if you will be entitled to "partial benefits"

Florida actually has what's called a "short-time compensation program" It's a voluntary program for employers, but the benefit of it is that partial benefits are based on hours worked in a week vs. wages paid in a week.

As far as you go .. with your elbow .. you should become eligible for benefits as of July 27th when your doctor releases you with restrictions. Even though your employer won't allow you back to work with restrictions.

If they don't, it should be viewed as a lack of work because you are able and available for work and not working is due to the employer.

You should read the FMLA guidelines and even the Americans with disability act to find out why you would be entitled to UI.

If you have another question, let me know .. because I understand you might still be confused .. I know I am sometiimes .. I'm more than happy to let you know what I think will happen, but you should talk to WFI (or do they call themselves FLUIDNOW :)) to verify whether I've got it right .. because they don't really answer this kind of stuff on their website .. at least they didn't last time I checked.

Fired while on FMLA
by: Anonymous

I have been on intermittent FMLA for the last year to care for my daughter that has medical issues. I just recently reapplied because it is required annually and my employer did approve it. This week I was given my annual review and was graded as not meeting expectations. I have worked for this company for 6 years and have never been given such a low review. I have missed quite a bit of work and I feel like they are trying to find reasons to get rid of me based on my performance because I am protected for my absences by FMLA. If I was to be terminated for this would I be eligible for unemployment?



FMLA will not protect you from a legitimate discharge for misconduct.

But you obviously perceive what the employer may be trying to do.

Personally, given the fact that I'm not sure what they say is causing the performance deficit for you ..

I can tell you that if it were me .. I would not fool around .. I'd contact an attorney right now.

If you let it go .. chances are good you may be fired for performance issues promoted as "neglect of duties" and your defense at an unemployment hearing .. would require you to prove that the misconduct was contrived by the employer for convenience sake. When in fact, all they are trying to do is substitute the contrived reason of misconduct for the real reason .. that because you are now on FMLA .. you've simply become a pain in the ass employee.

If this is the real intent going on here, a lawyer can hash out some other deal that allows you to quit (never a bad idea to protect a resume).

And oddly enough, if it is worked out correctly .. even unemployment benefits become a possibility when the "severance package" is no longer a factor.

And maybe, just maybe .. there is sufficient proof to prove "retaliation" .. which is what a savvy employer should really want to avoid.


Aside from the work we perform .. employment is really nothing more than a game of manipulation and threats employees rarely win. But only if you allow your own personal best interests to be subordinate to the corporation .. or the boss.

fmla
by: bebe

Hello, I am writing today to see if anyone has any information about quitting or getting fired due to Chronic migraines. I currently work for a cell phone company in a call center that requirea me to be on calls for 8 hrs a day. I constantly hear customers yelling in my ears, and the job is very stressful. I am at the point where I have my fmla days, 2-3 days a month and I have exhausted those days already for the month of janurary and my employer is only allowing 2 more days of excused absence or I will be fired. The migraines are almost always aggrivated by my work duties and I am thinking of just quitting my job. If i do quit or get fired for taking too many sick days not covered under my fmla will I be qualified for unemployment?

fmla fired
by: Anonymous

Help. I had a work injury which resulted in surgery and a long exhaustive rehab. My FMLA time has exhausted and I was confirmed fired. I was given an opportunity to file an arbitration. I live in FL. I have requested an extended leave as a reasonable accomodation under the american disability act. This was ignored. I have to now fill out the paperwork for arbitration and wonder if I even have a leg to stand on.




Sorry, I don't know about your employer's arbitration process. All I know is that once FML is exhausted an employer is not required to hold your job open for you any longer under the guidelines provided by the FMLA and that's where unemployment benefits can come in .. depending on whether after an exhaustive rehab, you still have the necessary wages in your unemployment base period FL will require to qualify you monetarily for benefits.

Chris

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