I finally did it. I had my doctor's visit this week where I brought up applying for intermittent leave. My doctor has really been good about all of the different things I bring up to her and has even called me a pioneer for some of the ones she had never heard about.
I explained to my doctor that my company will be cracking down on our sick policy. I don't take advantage of it, but once in a while, I will leave early. Leaving early, arriving late or missing a day for Migraine would all count as an occurrence or 'against' an employee unless they were under fmla protection. After so many occurrences, you would be put on verbal warning, then written warning which could lead to termination.
I honestly can't say I'm against the policy as I see people abuse it all of the time, but it scares me because of something that is beyond my control and something I lean over backward not to take advantage of. I probably 'over stay' my welcome at work to prove something I have no right to try to prove as it is totally against what is best for me and my health. I told my doctor that I probably trudge through too many days when I really shouldn't.
My doctor's only comment, after shaking her head disapproving and whispering under her breath about trudging through the day, was that I should have done this a long time ago. She happily took the paperwork and will be sending them into my company's leave department.
My next step was that I didn't want to formally apply until I had talked to my doctor and to Bart, my boss. As luck would have it, Bart was going to be in the office the day after my doctor's appointment as he does not work in the same building I work out of. I really wanted to talk to him in person about the leave as I had mentioned it to him in passing about four or five months ago before I even knew the policy was going to change.
Back then, Bart was a little surprised by it and seemed a little taken back as he has really been good with me and gives me the latitude I need. At that time, I told him that we never know what the future holds; little did I know it held this change in the sick policy which took away any manager discretion around the subject.
I was nervous about talking to Bart because I didn't want to alienate him, but given everything including the fact that I am still getting too many Migraines and my tolerance threshold is wearing thin, I forged forward. Bart took everything great, not that he really had a choice, but it made it so much easier. I sent in my application, am awaiting my doctor to complete her portion and then will see if I get approved (not really concerned about that) and how often I will need my doctor to fill out a recertification form.
In this time since May when I started seriously contemplating this, there have been many occasions that I have asked myself three questions: Should I leave now? Would I leave now if I was already approved? Am I going to leave now? Many times I would answer these questions and do what was contrary to my health. I even told Bart this when I talked with him. I told him that I feel I am much harder on me than he is in this respect. He just gave me a crazy look.
I hope I have nothing to lose by applying for intermittent fmla leave. I know a job is important for everyone, but I am the only income and health insurance for my family that includes two college aged kids. I am hoping that I will feel easier about taking care of myself under this protection and will see if it makes a difference to me. I do know people who have had their jobs saved by this protection. I don't think my job is on the line right now, but I have to prepare and be ready for what tomorrow holds as I am not the employee I could be either.
Are you on intermittent leave? Do you feel it has benefited you? Have you / are you going to recertify to extend your intermittent leave?