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Any Experience with Personal Leaves of Absence following Maternity leave? South Carolina

On Lawyer & Legal » Employment & Labor Law

1,789 words with 2 Comments; publish: Wed, 10 Jan 2007 08:26:00 GMT; (80078.13, « »)

I live and worked in SC. Prior to my delivery, I had to go on STD/FMLA 2 months early due to complications, thus my FMLA protection period ran out pretty quickly after my daughter was born. SInce I was expecting this, I spoke with my employer regarding a personal leave. While I was on maternity leave, i contacted my case manager to inquire as to what I needed to do to request a PLA. She said I just needed to have my manager notify them of when I would begin the leave (9/15/06) and when I would return (11/13/06). I let my manager know this and on teh 15th of Sept. she notified my case manager that I would be on leave.

Two weeks later, she called me and said that she "misunderstood' and thought I was requesting FMLA, not a PLA. She then proceeded to tell me that I had to return in two weeks (10/16) rather than 11/13 as arranged. I was unable to do so since I could not secure daycare for my child. I had arranged care for her as of 11/13. So on October 16th, they terminated but coded it as voluntary.

Now, I am being denied unemployment benefits because they consider it voluntary termination. I have proof in an email from mymanager that she approved my return date of 11/13. I know that PLA's do not have job protection against involuntary termination (and now I wish they had just fired me anyway) but can they renege on a PLA and code it as voluntary???

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    • Yes they can. Misunderstandings happen, though it is unfortunate. It will be up to the state to decide whether a lack of child care is a sufficient reason to grant you unemployment benefits.
      #1; Wed, 10 Jan 2007 08:49:00 GMT
    • Well, the state decided in my favor since my employer did not give me sufficient time to secure childcare since they were changing my return date without giving any reason. I was penalized 5 weeks, though.
      #2; Sun, 14 Jan 2007 08:46:00 GMT