Conflicting FMLA Policy and Medical Leave Policy???

Our Medical Leave Policy, as now written,:help: (for anyone on Short Term disability), states that our company "will make every effort to hold a position up to 26 weeks for an employee who is absent from the workplace because of a short term disability". It goes on to state that if the supervisor can clearly demonstrate that the ......absence seriously interferes...etc.. the position will not be held.

Our FMLA, of course, refers to the fact that the company is not required to hold a position after 12 weeks of unpaid leave.

The Medical Leave Policy refers to 26 weeks because that is the length of coverage under our STD policy.

Please give me your opinion as to whether this could create issues in the future.


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  • Anything and everything could create an issue in the future. :)

    Does your STD cover every employee, or just a certain class of employee? Making every effort and being required are not really the same thing. However, if your STD doesn't cover everyone you might be asking for trouble. If it does cover everyone, it seems unlikely that you will have a problem. Just make sure you are fair and well documented everytime you hold a job open and every time you don't so that no one can claim discriminiation.
  • This is why I had our carrier (at renewal) quote an STD plan in which the STD period ended at 12 weeks. The STD and FMLA expire together, and it eliminates part (but not nearly all) of the misunderstandings. We have a LTD plan as well, so the transition period occurs at that time.

    Ironically, 12 weeks is the new defacto recovery period for our disabilities now. Funny how that works.