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Already Being pressured to Return to Work Already Being pressured to Return to Work

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  #1  
Unread 01-04-2012, 06:34 AM
Already Being pressured to Return to Work

I haven't even had my surgery yet, and I'm already getting emails from my project manager asking me if I think I can be back in 2 weeks. He wants times of all my pre-ops, blood draws and so on, and I don't even have that yet. He compares my TVH to his shoulder repair surgery that he has scheduled later this month. He seems to think that I can return to full time hours after 2 weeks on "light duty". Keep in mind, I am heavy truck driver. This means, climbing in and out of an 18 wheeler, strapping down loads, etc etc. I'm also on a government contract. I worried that I will lose my job.
My doctor wants me to stay relatively stress free, but with all the pressure to return to work so quickly and all the intrusive questioning from my bosses, I feel overwhelmed. Is there anything I can do??
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  #2  
Unread 01-04-2012, 09:47 AM
Already Being pressured to Return to Work

Lori, talk to your Doc and let him/her know about the pressure you are receiving from your boss/job. Those seem like very high expectations to me. Most recovery times are 4-6 weeks, although some women are able to bounce back a little sooner.
Keep in mind that you are having MAJOR surgery!! Your internal organs, abdominal wall, vagina, and stitches all need time to heal. If you do to much to soon, you run a very high risk of landing yourself back in the hospital.
Is it possible that upon your return to work, you can assist in-office doing paperwork, driver logs, DVIR'S or even dispatching?
~ Megs
  #3  
Unread 01-04-2012, 09:58 AM
Re: Already Being pressured to Return to Work

Your boss can't make you return to work if your doctor writes a note stating no work. The FMLA law allows you 12 weeks to recover. You will not be able to perform those duties I can guarentee that. No way! I was a CDLB driver so know some of the physical job duties. Stress doesn't help the body when it's trying to heal
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  #4  
Unread 01-04-2012, 10:03 AM
Re: Already Being pressured to Return to Work

Megs, Thank you so much for your reply. I talked to my local boss today about going on STD (Short Term Disability) so I had the oppurtunity to heal, and he told me that he didn't want to ask his higher ups about it because he thinks they will tell him to "fire her and replace her". He validated my fears of losing my job even though the company I work for offers STD, and my local boss has offered for me to work in the office after surgery, I'm not sure if this is all just my local bosses lack of back bone, or if the corprate office is being less than ethical. I am documenting all the emails and converastions regaurding my upcoming surgery and recovery time in case of the worst case scenerio. From what I understand, this would be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  #5  
Unread 01-04-2012, 10:07 AM
Re: Already Being pressured to Return to Work

Hi Lori!

I agree that those expectations are too high. My husband also drives a big rig that is a US Postal contractor for the government. He had lap hernia surgery back in April and he was off 6 weeks (doctor's orders). I know first hand that your job is very taxing. Please be careful and take care of yourself.
  #6  
Unread 01-04-2012, 10:15 AM
Already Being pressured to Return to Work

Talk to someone in your company HR Department today! This is their specialty and they are the ones who will help make this happen. Remember, you don't have to disclose your reason for surgery to anyone at anytime and they are not legally allowed to ask you either. If you want them to know, it's up to you.
Google FMLA leave as soon as possible. Under the FMLA leave, you are granted a total if 12 weeks disability for you or a loved one and your job would remain yours and intact.
I hope this helps. My HR dept was spectacular! They won't let me set foot in the door until 8:00am tomorrow.
Please let me know what you find out... I'm interested to see how your company handles this.
  #7  
Unread 01-04-2012, 11:01 AM
Re: Already Being pressured to Return to Work

Are you covered under the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act)

The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Eligible employees are entitled to: Twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job.
http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/

Also, be very clear with your doctor about what your work entails so he can provide whatever documentation your employer will require concerning your recovery time estimates.

As for requesting your pre-op appointment schedule, tell him he will know as soon as you do. That's the best you can do. They do need to know when you are not going to be available for scheduling purposes, but they don't need to know the details.

Best wishes!
  #8  
Unread 01-04-2012, 11:13 AM
Re: Already Being pressured to Return to Work

If you qualify for FMLA then read up on it so you can stay on top of your rights.

I would talk directly to HR. I have worked in HR before and nothing would make me more mad than people who don't know the laws dictating what employees can do.

It is good that you are saving everything. Another thing to consider is if they are discriminating against you. Would they allow a man to take off if he was having some man surgery? Is it because you are a woman in a man's world that you are being told not to take off the dr. recommended time?

Good luck. Some employers are sleazy and will find a way to fire you to retaliate. My view is that I don't want to work for people like that so if it happens then that's ok.
  #9  
Unread 01-04-2012, 11:37 AM
Re: Already Being pressured to Return to Work

You, and your job, are protected by law. The questions he is asking you about your medical appts, procedure, etc are not allowed. He is effectively bullying you. Repeating what has already been said, go to HR. Research your rights. Stand up for yourself and your right to heal.
  #10  
Unread 01-04-2012, 11:59 AM
Re: Already Being pressured to Return to Work

I want to thank everyone for their responses. I know that there are a lot of laws that protect us under FMLA and ADA. I worry about the part where this is a Government contract, that's where things get a little muddled. I know my health is the most important part in the scheme of things and I can't put off the surgery any longer than I already am. I'm going to be putting in two more calls this week. One to the contract representative to see if employees working on post fall under FLMA and ADA. I want to have all my ducks in a row before I directly contact the corporate HR.
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