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Rene' Koenig
Rene' Koenig
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  • Fmla

    Hi everyone!
    My name is Rene' and I've been reading the posts for weeks. Briefly...I was diagnosed with HCM when I was 27...had a myectomy when I was 28 and am now 42 years old. Some days I feel fine and other days I feel horrible...especially when it's hot and humid, or extra busy at work. I've been the Activity Director at the same nursing home for 15 years. I went to my Cardiologist Friday and he filled out FMLA papers for me. Basically, states the "Rene' is unable to perform the functions of her job when functionally symptomatic"...blah, blah, blah...". I only need it intermittently, so if I need to take off a day, or need to leave a few hour early, it won't count against our attendance policy. Now, I'm worried about turning it in and my employer thinking that I'm unable to do my job. I have 3 very efficient and competent activity assistants, so I don't worry about things when I'm off. Not sure exactly what to say to my Administrator now or if I should turn it in at all. Any advice?


  • #2
    Re: Fmla

    I wasn't aware that you could take FMLA bit by bit.

    Since you've been there for so long, you should have a pretty good idea about how they treat people who need extra time off there.

    Has this been a problem and do you find you are spending all your vacation time and/or sick leave for bad days?

    I'm sorry I can't advise you but your hesitation makes me think you have concerns about their reaction.



    • #3
      Re: Fmla


      Thanks for your reply. Yes, FMLA can be taken bit by bit. Actually, I rarely miss work at all. I'm a salaried employee and when I have missed, I always make up the work...not that I'm required to, it's just that I feel a responsibility to. Most people at work know nothing about my health. The current administrator (we have already had 3 this year). only knows that I only work 4 days per week for health reasons. He's very nice, and I do a good job which helps! My hesitation is that I don't want to appear as though I'm being a baby! I look perfectly healthy. There are times that my chest is pounding horribly, I'm short of breath and lightheaded. I just keep telling myself "you only have to make it another two hours and you can go home in the AC and rest!" One day last week I actually had to seat a resident in a wheelchair at the nurses station because I thought if I took another step I would pass out. Times like this it would be nice to be able to go home. Make sense?


      • #4
        Re: Fmla

        Hi Rene'

        I know exactly how you feel. When I lived in PA, I was an Administrative Secretary to the Superintendent of Schools. I had to take 8 months off because I went straight lined when I lost my son, had an ablation and was being tested on different medications. I took a FMLA with no problem. They took into consideration my illness. I received full medical benefits, I think, for 6 months, then I had to pick up the full cost. Since I moved to Minnesota, 3 yrs. ago, I found a full-time job as an Administrative Assistant 4 months after my second open heart surgery. Unfortunately last year I start getting SOB and was hospitalized for 1 week. I couldn't return to work full-time, so I worked part-time (4 hours a day). After 4 months of working part-time, I went back to full-time with the understanding that should I feel ill when I was still at home, I wouldn't go in and if I was at work and didn't feel well I would go home. As a matter of fact, my boss insisted that we continue that same understanding until further notice. I do take vacation and/or PTO when I am ill and when I have used them all, I take them off without pay. My boss realizes that I work when I am up to it and, if I may say, I do my job very well. I am the only employee in office besides my boss. Sometimes I bring work home with me or even go in an hour early. Whether or not you think your boss might think you are unable to do your job, you need to talk upfront with your him/her and come up with some agreement. I'm sure he/she will take into consideration of your professional abilities. You are wearing yourself out and need to rest when you feel unable to function. Does your employer know of your health concerns? I do hope you get as much support as I have. You certainly can not be denied FMLA.
        Good luck and please keep in touch.


        • #5
          Re: Fmla

          Dear Rene’,

          If you ask my advice I would suggest the following;
          First, I would sit down and type a letter explaining the situation fully. Definitely include that you do make up any required work when you are able, and that you have fully trained assistants who can and do function quite well in your absence.

          Then I would ask to see him/her; explain that you have a medical problem which might be more easily understood with this letter. Hand him the letter along with the FMLA papers, and say that you will be happy to discuss any aspect of the situation with him after he reads your letter.

          I would guess there may still be a few cavemen around who would try and push you out in this situation, but I believe they are few and far between. Don’t forget you have the law on your side, and given the chance, most superiors will try and do the right/human thing.

          The other side of that coin is collapsing on the job and trying to explain to your employer why you never said anything about your condition.

          Please let us know how things go.


          • #6
            Re: Fmla

            Hi Rene',

            Welcome to the HCMA. Please call the HCMA office at 973-983-7429 so that we may set up a phone conference with Lisa. Lisa has a lot of experience in the area of human resources and will be able to help you determine how to handle this situation. Although she is only in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I am here on Monday through Friday and can get preliminary information from you and let you know when is a good time to speak to Lisa.

            I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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