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Jun 19 2012

Long week

It’s only Tuesday and already it’s been a long, scary, painful week. I’ve been trying for the last two days to figure out why FMLA paperwork filled out by my doctor was denied by my employer, while fighting a severe flare up and being forced to work with AS. This is the third set of paperwork, the other two were 1) lost by my employer/processor nexus, 2) filled out incorrectly by the employer/processor nexxus. If I hadn’t insisted on finding out on set number three, I wouldn’t know what happened and the decision would have stood — which would have cost me a twenty cent raise I worked six months for, could affect my bonuses, and would have eliminated any chance for raise or promotion for six months, and was used to threaten my job and by extension my health insurance. Guess who screwed up?

It turns out my HR department sent that set of paperwork to an inactive email address at the third party clowns they use for FMLA processing. The HR director has admitted fault and apologized profusely to me in writing. But that person sent it back to the third party bozos again instead of just approving it. So more waiting, more anxiety, more pain and suffering, more delays. More chance for coincidental accidents to happen or excuses to be cooked up for why we have to resubmit a fourth set of paperwork, or time and opportunity to manufacture some reason for denying it even though the doc has signed off and the medical-issue documentation goes back for a decade and a half. It’s getting harder and harder to accept these endless delays and needless errors are not done intentionally, or accidentally on purpose, to discourage low ranking, poorly paid employees from using their lawful benefits.

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  1. 1
    dustnite

    I’m also having difficulties with my employer. I’m being regularly asked to pay out of pocket for a job that requires me to travel frequently domestic and abroad. Takes me on average 4 months to get expenses processed and back to me and it’s gotten to the point where I have to tell my employer to get bent if he wants me to go fix something ever again. To me, it screams the company has a problem with solvency…

    On top of that the HMO insurance I applied for got denied because the company didn’t buy coverage for the state I’m currently working in (this company is based in another state) and my only option was to pay for the PPO that I cannot afford on my salary (especially the long wait time between expenses).

    I had to threaten to go the labor board to even get somebody to return my phone calls or emails… I hope you don’t have to deal with this crap too much longer….

    I’m getting worried because I have medical problems creeping up that I ignore because it will cost me an arm and leg to get checked or get an operation…

  2. 2
    Pierce R. Butler

    Your next set of paperwork comes wrapped around a fishing spear…

  3. 3
    Funny Diva

    Sorry to hear about this. Your closing sentence says it all, unfortunately.

    Hang in there. At least you have a “my bad” from HR in writing. That’s something at least.

    Hope you’re feeling better soon.

  4. 4
    Stephen "DarkSyde" Andrew

    So the HR perosn did get it approved, in vast relief I sent an email to my immediate supervisor asking how long it usually takes to get the black mark removed and the raise initiated. It was like a giant weight lifted off my shoulders. And hoddamn, I got back a confusing email that the start date for the FMLA that was approved is a few days after the missed day that set it all off. I don’t know if that means they’re gonna fix it, or it’s on me to start all over again and fix it, or that it cannot be fixed. I am really stressed out, my heart is skipping beats and fluttering around in my chest like a panicked trapped bird. I feel like I might just keel over and die.

    These guys seem like they’re trying to get this right. The HR director that sent me the mea culpa sounded genuinely sorry for the latest error. And yet they just can’t seem to pull it off.

  5. 5
    lorn

    Old school office procedure was that all the paperwork sent out got photocopied. It makes refiling a lot easier. Filed with a list of times sent, and to where, and who, you have documentation that can prove useful. When dealing with bureaucracies it pays to document every little thing you do. Duplicate copies and phone logs are mandatory.

    I’ve noticed that people who ask for names, job titles, and are clearly documenting everything get better service.

    Lamentably the trend is that as budgets get tight, and sometimes just for fun, and/or profit, the process becomes less efficient. Every claim lost and every person too discouraged to keep pushing for their benefits is a claim that doesn’t require payment.

  6. 6
    Stephen "DarkSyde" Andrew

    I think I have it reasonably well documented. I cc’ed myself on the emails, I made copies of the paperwork. In fact the reason it got approved today was because I happeend to have a copy of an earlier set of paperwork that was also lost by either my employer or the third party processor — perhaps because that was also sent to an inactive email — with the doc’s instructions clearly spelled out and a special phone number to route the ins company rep right through to the nurse practioner, then I called that nurse to give her my blessing in releasing whatever info they ask for. I don’t know what else I can do to help them get this right.

    This is all because of a really unethical attendance policy that does not distinguish between serious injuries or illnesses in the ER or ICU, and routine absences. One of the three absences that caused me this greif was caused when I passed out at work from a freshly broken bone, it had been treated in the ER, I have xrays and an MRI on it. The fracture was only a couple of days old, but I was forced to work with it anyway. The edges rubbed together causing a jolt of unbelievable pain and I fainted right at my desk.

    I don’t understand why they are putting me through this hell. I am a superstar employee. My metrics are so good I was given a special award in front of the office and my manager wrote in my review I had the best work ethic and attitude of anyone on the team.

  7. 7
    redwood

    It sounds like typical incompetence to me. You’d think they’d be more considerate of a top-notch employee but maybe they’re just not up to it–it’s too hard for them to handle or they don’t have things set up correctly. Hard to believe, but I get the feeling that more and more people just don’t give a shit about doing things right. The US keeps slipping down the hill with no one manning the brakes because they can’t be bothered.

    Sorry to hear about your troubles and hope there is someone somewhere who knows what they are doing and can get it taken care of.

  1. 8
    I’m on the 4-10 to paradise and you are invited | The Zingularity

    [...] riffed on my day job a bit. Ok, more than a bit. But they fixed the FMLA issue and there’s more. Things are gonna change here at the Zingularity. But in a good way! [...]

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