FMLA Leave in February + Benefits..?

Discussion in 'UPS Union Issues' started by Sac Steve, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. Sac Steve

    Sac Steve New Member

    Hey guys, so this is my first post on this site. I've been with the company for 7 years, transferring from LA to Sacramento a few years back... Under the SoCal contract no monthly minimum amount of hours were needed to make my insurance benefits, though under the NorCal contract, 80 hours are needed to attain eligibility each month. I went on an FMLA medical leave from work last February-March. I visited the doctor many times, and my insurance benefits were active. 3 months after my return, I began to get bills from my doctor stating my insurance eligibility was revoked and the bills for March amounted $1,000+ (much more than the $67 patient responsibility portion I had already payed). After meeting with my reluctant hub manager, he emailed HR/Payroll whom insisted my benefits should have been active 3 months into my leave. Everything was restored until December of last year when my March eligibility was mysteriously taken away again. I filed a grievance and was told during panel that I didn't receive eligibility in March because of the days I missed in February. With the FMLA leave (which supposedly grants 4hrs/day), I had something like 73/80 hours. I had RTO'd two other days in the beginning of february (I was sent home sick), and worked one full day (february was only a 20 work day month last year). HR is still saying I should have had benefits despite my hours, as of course, I was on an FMLA medical leave, though my union rep is saying different and refuses to help me. He claims there is no specific part of our contract which supports guarantee of benefits during an FMLA leave without monthly hours needed to make ins. eligibility..(?) It seems for once UPS HR is on my side and the union against me, though only the union can put in a waiver for eligibility for last year.
    Any advice or comments?

    MAKAVELI Well-Known Member

    Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
    The Family and Medical Leave Act
    The Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") provides certain employees with up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave a year, and requires group health benefits to be maintained during the leave as if employees continued to work instead of taking leave. This Compliance Guide summarizes the FMLA provisions and regulations1, and provides answers to the most frequently asked questions. More detail on the FMLA may be found in the regulations (29 CFR Part 825).
    The FMLA became effective August 5, 1993, for most employers and employees. (For those covered by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in effect on that date, the FMLA became effective on the expiration of the CBA or February 5, 1994, whichever was earlier.)
    This law covers only certain employers; affects only those employees eligible for the protections of the law; involves entitlement to leave, maintenance of health benefits during leave, and job restoration after leave; sets requirements for notice and certification of the need for FMLA leave; and protects employees who request or take FMLA leave. The law also includes certain employer recordkeeping requirements.

    Maintenance of Health Benefits
    A covered employer is required to maintain group health insurance coverage, including family coverage, for an employee on FMLA leave on the same terms as if the employee continued to work.
    Where appropriate, arrangements will need to be made for employees taking unpaid FMLA leave to pay their share of health insurance premiums. For example, if the group health plan involves co-payments by the employer and the employee, an employee on unpaid FMLA leave must make arrangements to pay his or her normal portion of the insurance premiums to maintain insurance coverage, as must the employer. Such payments may be made under any arrangement voluntarily agreed to by the employer and employee.
    An employer's obligation to maintain health benefits under FMLA stops if and when an employee informs the employer of an intent not to return to work at the end of the leave period, or if the employee fails to return to work when the FMLA leave entitlement is exhausted. The employer's obligation also stops if the employee's premium payment is more than 30 days late and the employer has given the employee written notice at least 15 days in advance advising that coverage will cease if payment is not received.
    In some circumstances, the employer may recover premiums it paid to maintain health insurance coverage for an employee who fails to return to work from FMLA leave.
    • Informative Informative x 1
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  3. PiedmontSteward

    PiedmontSteward RTW-4-Less

    Are you PT or FT? And are you in the UPS company health care plan or a Taft-Hartley plan? If you're PT, you're more than likely in the UPS plan which is "administered by UPS" but actually staffed with people who have no :censored2:ing clue what they're doing or what a labor agreement is.

    If you're in a union/Taft-Hartley health care plan (since you mentioned a "waiver" for eligibility from the union, I'm assuming you are), I would call the plan directly and tell them the situation. If they refuse to budge, contact the Department of Labor. Your insurance should be maintained during FMLA; labor agreements cannot supersede federal labor law, only provide additional benefits in addition to it (ie. part-timers who otherwise wouldn't qualify for FMLA due to hours worked receiving 6 weeks of FMLA time/year.)
  4. Sac Steve

    Sac Steve New Member

    I'm PT, but my insurance benefits are carried out by the teamsters (or so I believe, as my insurance bills are sent via the Northern CA General Teamsters Security Fund...) I've been in contact with the union, insurance company and UPS for a year now, and they just keep bouncing me back and forth (UPS says I'm right - contact the union/union says contact insurance company/insurance company says contact UPS...)My union rep has dropped the ball and doesn't want to budge on this one...
    You're right though, they're telling me (in so many convoluted words) that contract/UPS policy superseded FMLA mandate in this case...