At some point during your career, you may get sick beyond the common cold, or you may experience a medical condition that impacts your ability to work a normal schedule. You may even have a family member that requires the need of a caregiver – and that caregiver might happen to be you. In many of these cases, we have the right to file for “FMLA”. “FMLA” refers to the “Family and Medical Leave Act”, which is a federal law that guarantees certain employees up to twelve (12) workweeks of unpaid leave annually, with no threat of job loss.
If you’re filing for FMLA, it is your responsibility to ensure that all documents, forms, releases, etc. are submitted to the agency or department handling FMLA for the company. If you are submitting an initial filing or requesting an extension, it is important that all documents be submitted prior to any deadlines. If this procedure isn’t followed it can cause much confusion and even lead to unexcused absences resulting in termination.
Recently, your base reps have represented many employees in situations involving the FMLA process, and we have had to fight unnecessary points that have resulted in the Flight Attendant’s termination. During the meetings, we have discovered that many of our employees have submitted the proper documentation in the required time frame. We have also seen the current agency Allegiant uses for processing our claims, F&H Solutions, claim they didn’t receive any documentation from the employee. They have also claimed they received required documents after the due date. F&H Solutions have gotten employees’ names wrong, recorded incorrect dates of doctor visits, and mixed up claims from different people.
What can you do to protect yourself? We suggest that you ensure all documentation is filed immediately and all required responses are timely – do NOT cut it close to the deadline. Do not depend on your physician to fax or send the documentation. Once it is signed, get the documents in hand, and fax it yourself. Always print the fax confirmation so you can prove it was sent, if that becomes necessary. That paper trail is your proof. As long as F&H Solutions continues to make these mistakes, you must make sure you cover yourself.
We know there is a “changing of the guard” coming soon, and, in the near future, Allegiant will be handling FMLA claims “in house.” We are hopeful that the processing of FMLA claims will handled properly then, but you will still want to protect yourself and document all FMLA filings. In the meantime, if you have been denied FMLA we suggest you refile and fight for yourself. If you have any questions, you can always reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Base Reps will continue to work hard representing you if a meeting is scheduled. Always remember – you have the right to be represented by a trained, TWU Base Representative.