FMLA and workers comp
I have an employee that claims he was injuried at work and we have gone through the whole process with company doctors and they have now referred him on to a specialist. I sent him his paperwork after he had been off work for this "injury" for about a week. I informed him in a letter he was to get the certification of the health care provider filled out and returned to me by September 4, which was yesterday ( I gave him approximately 16 working days in order to return the forms). He called me shortly after receiving his paperwork and informed me he was on workers comp and he did not request FMLA and besides that, he told me, workers comp and FMLA do not go together. I informed him that yes they do and it is in his workers comp policy and procedure to be placed on FMLA automatically after being off work for more than 3 days for the same illness or injury, which is his qualification. We are a union facility and he said he was going to the union hall about this. My problem with this wonderful individual at this time is he has not returned the paperwork as of the date I gave to him and I have not heard from him since that last conversation. That was a little over a week ago. We require all employees to call in at least once a week while off for any extended length of time. All of these things he was informed of through the letter and the FMLA forms I sent to him. We have a written policy on FMLA and workers comp that is given to all employees with their hand books. Can I now procede with the thought he has abandoned his job and elimiate his position and transition him out of the company? He will continue with workers comp since that has been established; and under the bargaining agreement, I must give him a year in which to return to his position, if it is available at that time. I want to send him a notice stating the fact he did not follow the requirements of FMLA and therefore he is terminated. Can I do any of this? or Do I just wait until the 12 weeks is completed and then send him notice? I appreciate any advice or comments you can give me. Thanks.