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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.


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

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?


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?


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.

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.


by: Anonymous

My FMLA in Florida has been exhausted and I am not able to return to work due to my medical condition employer wanted a return to work date...I submitted my doctor's note with an indefinitely date until I see her again at the end of the month to be re-evaluated and this was not acceptable to my employer...

They wrote me a letter stating that if I do not return to work by a specific date with or without a reasonable accommodation, the company will consider it my resignation and my employment will be terminated at that time...with that said am I entitled to unemployment benefits even though I did not resigned voluntarily?

FMLA Exhausted - uh oh
by: Chris

Did you try using the search bar to find other questions that may include answers about "exhausting FMLA?

First off, they might have something to be bugged about if your doctor put a RTW date as "indefinite".

But if you are in contact with and being accommodating toward your employer and keeping them informed, I think they are missing the mark telling you it will be considered a VQ by them .. because that's generally not how unemployment sees a termination when someone is sick and not being allowed to return to work by their doctor .. not even with restrictions to accommodate.

You might see that I've suggested responding to an employer as a way to counter document is the thing to do here and to be clearer about your own efforts and any reticence to cooperate with the employer about getting medical documentation to them in a timely manner is not what you want to show.

You very well could be entitled to unemployment benefits once you are released by your doctor without, or without restrictions needing accommodation .. however, you can't just ignore an employer's request for information they have a right to expect and expect the UI dept to flat out call it a discharge for something other than work misconduct .. once you do become able and available to work .. and therefore conditionally eligible to collect.

From a pro-active perspective, it never hurts to counter document yourself to any letters such as this with communications to the employer that might clear things up, in case the letter is leaving out pertinent info to arrive at the VQ assumption and as an effort that proves you were trying to preserve your job and belief that you understand the separation might actually be an involuntary termination by the employer because you are still so ill as to have a doctor prohibiting you from working.

If it were me .. I'd make an emergency appt. with my physician for a re-evaluation prior to that "termination date", so your employer is made aware with a new and current doctor report.

I will assume you are trying to hang onto this job so, you might read up at about the
Americans with Disability Act

At the EEOC about ADAAA

And last, but not least, the FMLA guidelines so you know what is not just expected of an employer .. but an employee when on FMLA.

Fired after fmla ran out
by: Anonymous

Hello, I was let go as i had colon cancer a few years and was on intermittent fmla. I use this as i still have issues from having the cancer. I have a total of 9 day's a month of intermittent fmla. Meaning if i have a issue at work i can leave early and go home or not go to work 9 times a month. One day i was not feeling well and took off of work. I looked on my fmla papers and it said i had a few days to use so i took off for 10 hours a days work. So i assumed i had enough fmla time to cover the 10 hours. Boy i was wrong i only had 4 hours to use and was terminated. This was there reason.
I was involuntarily terminated for attendance. Would i be able to collect unemployment, I was with that company for 9 years and don't no why they couldn't of use a vacation day for that day either. They didn't like me missing time either as i heard things from the big boss guy saying shit behind my back from my fellow employees. Very inappropriate. They also told unemployment i quit voluntarily.

I would not call that a voluntary quit at all, but I'm not surprised the employer framed it that way .. because the other option, a discharge for misconduct .. for unacceptable attendance at work, could be a dicey argument if they might have to make the argument that your attendance/non-attendance at work, showed a pattern of behavior to prove a frivolous abuse of the time you had a right to take when needed via intermittent FMLA.

Also .. have you talked to an employee friendly attorney about the possibility your employer violated your rights under the FMLA, or ADA?

I would.


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