Employee Rights News You Can Use
FMLA Lock Down!
In a recent case involving the largest telecommunications union in the U.S. a court ruled the company could require employees to remain in the area while on FMLA leave!! The case of Pellegrino v. CWA, W.D. Pa., 5-19-11, gave employers the "right" to dictate the movements of those on medical leave. CWA has a sickness and absenteeism policy in it's employee manual requiring employees that accept wage replacement benefits while on FMLA to stay in the area where they live.
Employees can ONLY leave the immediate vicinity of their homes for "ordinary and necessary activities directly related to personal or family needs." If NOT they MUST get written permission from the CWA. Denise Pellegrino requested and was granted FMLA for a hysterectomy. Two weeks after surgery she took a trip to Cancun while still being on FMLA and getting sick pay.
Denise a clerical worker returned to work only to be terminated because she "violated the workplace policy that forbids unapproved travel while receiving sick leave pay." Ms. Pellegrino filed suit against CWA alleging the firing was a violation of her FMLA rights. Her doctor supported her contention the Cancun trip was NOT "inconsistent with her recovery."
The court disagreed and ruled on the side of CWA. The court determined the "FMLA does not prohibit employers from enacting policies to prevent employees from abusing leave...such as requiring them to get approval before leaving the area...as long as such policies "do not conflict with or diminish the rights provided by the FMLA.""
I believe this ruling can and will be challenged and I believe it should be. To allow employers to decide what is "ordinary and necessary" undermines the credibility of the certification given the employee by her doctor. It also opens the door to some potential Constitution issues such as "Freedom Of Movements"?!?
Here are three things employees and career seekers need to learn from this case.
1) Make sure you have a clear understanding of your employers FMLA policy including the language referring to absenteeism and sickness policy. If your company takes adverse action against you they better have clear guidelines in their leave policy to justify it.
2) Make sure your employer is consistent in applying its FMLA, sick and absenteeism policy. If not your boss may be handing you a successful lawsuit.
3) Make sure that you have been provided any and all updated FMLA, absenteeism and sick policy info from your boss. If your employer fails to provide you with this documentation and takes takes adverse action, it could prove to be a violation of your FMLA rights.
For more info on FMLA leave;
**What matters to me....is to help my fellow employee!**
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Date June 6, 2011
Your Basic Employee Rights Survey results!
I want to thank everyone that participated in my recent survey.
It answered some important questions.
(1) What is the #1 workplace issue that concerns or affects you?
(2) How can You-Can-Learn-Basic-Employee-Rights.com better address
After reviewing the survey results, the #1 workplace issue is....(drum roll ;0)
FALSE SEXUAL HARASSMENT
So let's get to it!
The "Dirty Thirty" Problems With Employee Performance Reviews! Part 3
Well, this is the final installment of the employee performance review series "Dirty Thirty". It is not however the end of our coverage of the issues career seekers and employees face in employee job reviews. There is an ocean of info and changes taking place we all must stay aware of concerning job evaluations. ;0)
Remember, your HR, supervisor or manager doesn't want you to have a level playing field involving employee performance appraisals. As always is exactly why you should ;0)
Let's continue with more "Dirty Thirty" Problems With Employee Performance Reviews.
- No Truth Based Measurement
- The majority of employee performance processes involve the memory of the evaluator. Most managers refuse the ongoing task of updating evaluation forms as an ongoing procedure.
Thus, relying on a recollection of events creates a environment for "subjective" rather than an "objective" performance appraisal.
- No "I" In Team
- Some organizations based performance rewards ie. raises, bonuses on the overall performance of the team. Individual team members may evaluate 90% or higher. However, the overall team may only avg. 80%. Thus, the rewards for the will be tied to the
performance incentives tied to the lower 80%.
- Forced Ranking "Class System"
- Some believe a forced ranking of employees such as "A", "B", "C" classes with "A" being the top as been advantageous. However, any bias that comes into play can and will lead to charges of discrimination, low morale and distrust of the evaluation process.
- Workplace Culture
- Some corporate cultures foster "subjective" performance appraisals that hinder meaningful and positive improvement in the evaluation process. For example, some employers rate new employees as "satisfactory" regardless of their actual performance. Superior performing employees may lower their performance standards as a result.
- Managers Are Not All Bad
- There are many honest and ethical supervisors and managers doing their best to provide accurate and unbiased job evaluations. However, many employers don't or won't
appreciate integrity in the management structure. Therefore, managers that will not compromise don't survive. Where there's no reward or recognition for the managers ethical evaluative performance the entire process suffers.
- Too Intense
- When the employee performance review process is built on quicksand, employees don't know what to expect. Dread of the process starts a sort of "countdown" to disaster in the employees minds. Some employees try to time the exact time and date of the evaluation to schedule "sick leave" or other means of avoidance. Uncertainty about the process can spread like a cancer damaging the overall morale of the organization.
- Inequitable Managers
- Some managers are "wimps" some are "tyrants and bullies". Some supervisors are illiterate with poor grammatical and writing skills. Because of these deficiencies some managers may be intimidated by employees demonstrating superior ability. Thus,
a manager may want everyone to like her. The "bully" manager's insecurity wants everyone to fear him.
- Highlight On Poor Performers
- Most employee review processes put emphasis on employees with poor performance. There is a lot less attention paid to processes highlighting excellent performers.
- Employees Best Offense
- Even the best designed performance appraisal can be a minefield for employers. Workplaces with "Inequitable managers" invite potential lawsuits. Inappropriate documentation, improper references to gender, age, race or disability with job
evaluations not corresponding to the actual performance can backfire legally on employers.
- No Team In "I"
- Many employee performance reviews evaluate individuals but not the overall team performance. Often times temporary workers influencing the team's overall score are not even counted.
That's it for this series. I hope you've found something of value to help in your next job evaluation or employee performance review.
Stay tuned for;
All The Best!
From your fellow employee,
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Written by Yancey Thomas Jr.
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