I work in an ob/gyn teaching hospital, so you would think they would be more understanding than some other industries, right? Wrong. I'm struggling lately and have reached out an HR rep and to a friend in the legal field for the names of some local employment attorneys.
I have intermittent FMLA. I use it very sparingly. I have suffered from migraines since I was a child, but I wasn't officially diagnosed until 2004, when I was 38. Once I was diagnosed and found a med that works most of the time, my migraines became a lot less debilitating. I wake up daily with a headache and take acetaminophen prophylactically. Most days it's enough, but sometimes it's not.
On Jan. 28, I woke up about 3am with a bad bad migraine - vomiting, aura, light sensitivity, etc. My husband got up around 4:30 and said, "Give me your manager's number; I'll call you in." Normally if I call in sick, I email my manager and our director. This time, though, I was physically incapable of emailing or calling anyone. He got my manager's voicemail, told her I'd be out for the day. She didn't check her voicemail and said she was unaware that I was out until the following day.
Yesterday, I was tag teamed by my manager and my manager's manager (it seems to be the only way they do this) and I was told that since I am employed by our hospital, only I can call myself in...and I cannot leave a voicemail. I need to personally text my manager. They told me it is unacceptable for anyone but the employee to report themselves sick. Mind you, my husband has called me in sick on exactly three occasions in the 15 years that I've worked here. This is not the norm; it's a very very rare exception. I really want to ask them to show me a policy that says this because I can't imagine how this could even be legal. "Hi, I'm in a coma! Won't be in today!" I'm sure they'll tell me the only exception is if the employee is physically incapable of doing it herself (hello!).
They also brought up that several weeks ago, on my (unpaid) lunch break, in my office with door closed, someone knocked on the door and I told them I'd be with them after lunch. My manager told me this was unacceptable. I explained that I had closed the shades and laid down during my lunch break (there is a small loveseat in my office) because I had taken a migraine pill and needed a break from the lights. Also told them that normally I'd have made myself available, even on my lunch break (and that I rarely GET a lunch break, I usually just work right through it), but that day I'd been feeling nauseous and needed to lay down. The "tag team" told me "sleeping at work is not allowed" and that I am no longer allowed to use my lunch break to lay down. I tried explaining to them that this happens maybe one or two times per month and allows me to get through the afternoon to avoid taking FMLA to go home sick and that I never (EVER) do this outside of my lunch break. They told me if I need to lay down at lunch, I can go do it in the parking lot in my car.
I have been stressing over this since they talked to me yesterday afternoon. I'm not sure where all of this is coming from. These are new managers, and I don't know why they seem to be targeting me or why they are not receptive to my explanations. I think they think I'm sleeping in my office every day (I'm NOT!), and to be honest, what business is it of theirs what I do on my own UNPAID lunch break in my own office anyway???
Just feeling lost and unsupported.