Hi I have just recently as in last week been diagnosed with BI-Polar II disorder with some Obsessive compulsive and avoidance tendencies. My main job caused the complications (complete meltdown) from this condition which lead me to an awesome therapist for a diagnosis. I have another part time job which is not stressful at all and I quite enjoy it. I wanted to know if anybody can tell me if it is legal to take FMLA from full-time job until I can get effective treatment and continue with my part time job. The second job is one day a week and I have had both jobs for over 10 years. Right now I can’t handle the stress of the first one but the second job is a breeze so I want to be sure before I continue further.
To preface this, I am NOT an attorney, nor is this in anyway legal advice. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows you to take up to 12 workweeks per 12 months, as either paid or unpaid leave, without penalty to your job. One of the requirements to be eligible for the leave is that the health condition must make the employee unable to perform the functions of the employee’s job. In order to be eligible for this leave, your full-time employer may require the proper forms, which includes a medical certification which informs the employers that you are unable to effectively carry out your work responsibilities. If that is the case, then you absolutely qualify for the leave. If the duties for your part-time job are different than those of your full-time job, and you did not take that part-time job to replace the full-time job, then it would seem logical that it would be o.k. I did read the entire Act and I did not see any references to instances in which there is multiple employers (full-time and part-time) and what the regulations would be.
So, since this definitely is a legal matter and is more than just merely speculation or opinion, I have to refer you to seek legal advice on this. If there is some regulation somewhere that prohibits you from working your part-time job, your FMLA benefits could be rejected because of fraud. An Employment Law attorney will be able to give you guidance on this issue. If you do not know where to find an attorney, you can go through the American Bar Association. I would suggest starting at a legal aid clinic where the advice is free. Here is the link for the American Bar Association webpage where you can search by state.
For anyone who is not familiar with The Family Medical Leave Act, here is a link that has the Act for you to read.
Many people do not know that this type of benefit is offered to them at work. Routinely you see this for women who take “Maternity Leave.” That is part of FMLA. Since it also applies to individuals with “serious health conditions,” it does apply to people with Bipolar in many cases. Feel free to email me if you need further assistance in finding legal advice or would like additional information on FMLA.