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    picksie's Avatar
    picksie Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Sep 4, 2012, 08:39 AM
    5 weeks less short term disability due to misinformation/no advisement
    First of all I want to say I take ownsership of not knowing how my short term disability (STD) works having never done it before and because my son was born one month early. Having said that I disclosed to our acting HR that I had no idea how they work. He helped me fill out my claim, including information that I was taking 5 weeks vacation. I figured I would take vacation pay until my benefits kicked in, which I would get 8 weeks of, covering me for my 3 month maternity leave. 5 weeks later my claim was processed but I saw that they only granted me 3 weeks vacation vs. 8. When I asked my HR manager why this was, he said that the disability kicked in 7 days after having the baby and that because I "chose" to take vacation first, I can't "double dip". I replied and asked who in their right mind would purposely make a decision that would impact their STD - I thought the benefits kicked in once the claim was approved, not from when I had the baby. I received no reply from him. I return to work in a couple of weeks and I would like to meet with him to discuss what happened. I feel that it was his job to advise me on this matter and believe he should take his share of ownership at a minimum. I am also thinking about asking for 1/2 my vacation back - I am out 5 weeks vacation and 5 weeks of income because he watched me make a stupid decision... am I being unreasonable?
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #2

    Sep 4, 2012, 08:52 AM
    THey are right... it starts AFTER the child was born.

    Unless you were in a high risk pregnancy and bedrest was medically required... which apperently was NOT the case.

    And they are also correct... you were on vacation... you can't be on paid leave AND collect disability both at the same time.

    THe HR department has to follow the law... past that they are beholden to the employer above you as they actually are part of the company management..
    picksie's Avatar
    picksie Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Sep 4, 2012, 09:43 AM
    Thank you so much for your quick reply... I am not disputing that they are wrong, just that they should have advised me that I might not want to take vacation as it would mean not receiving my full disability (I didn't realize the impact this would have on my STD). I am asking whether I am being reasonable by expecting HR to have mentioned this before submitting the claim and whether I should expect some accountability from the company on ill-advisement...
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    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #4

    Sep 4, 2012, 09:47 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by picksie View Post
    Thank you so much for your quick reply...I am not disputing that they are wrong, just that they should have advised me that I might not want to take vacation as it would mean not receiving my full disability (I didn't realize the impact this would have on my STD). I am asking whether I am being reasonable by expecting HR to have mentioned this before submitting the claim and whether I should expect some accountability from the company on ill-advisement...
    They aren't required to... as an adult they rightfully can assume you know these things if you don't specifically ask them.

    If you don't ask specifically... they don't have to tell you... and if you do then they would be required to give you a correct answer to the best of their ability.

    An unrelated example. You get ingured at work... say Carpal TUnnel syndrome... you go to HR... they don't have to tell you that's a workmans comp issue and they can tell you to find another job... however if you present it as workmans comp... they have to deal with it in a very different way.

    The fact you might not be aware isn't their responsibility.

    Yes I know someone in that situation... and that was what the lawyer told them.
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    picksie Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #5

    Sep 4, 2012, 09:57 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by smoothy View Post
    They aren't required to....as an adult they rightfully can assume you know these things if you don't specifically ask them.

    If you don't ask specifically...they don't have to tell you...and if you do then they would be required to give you a correct answer to the best of their ability.

    An unrelated example. You get ingured at work.....say Carpal TUnnel syndrome....you go to HR...they don't have to tell you thats a workmans comp issue and they can tell you to find another job....however if you present it as workmans comp...they have to deal with it in a very different way.

    The fact you might not be aware isn't their responsibility.

    Yes I know someone in that situation....and that was what the lawyer told them.
    OK. I appreciate your insight. I don't doubt that I am ultimately responsible, it's just unfortunate that nothing was said. I guess they don't have a legal obligation but it's about doing the right thing for the employee. Thanks again.
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    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #6

    Sep 4, 2012, 10:10 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by picksie View Post
    OK. I appreciate your insight. I don't doubt that I am ultimately responsible, it's just unfortunate that nothing was said. I guess they don't have a legal obligation but it's about doing the right thing for the employee. Thanks again.
    If you view this from the prism of how much either option cost the company... you taking vacation was cheaper for them. That's what you went to them with, and fiscally it was best for them.

    And keep in mind the companys first responsibility is to the shareholders and owners, is to do what's best for the company.

    Doing otherwise will put them out of business. Its really no different than how most people run their own lives... first is take care of their own needs (and their family), then others come secondary.
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    picksie Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Sep 4, 2012, 10:16 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by smoothy View Post
    If you view this from the prism of how much either option cost the company.....you taking vacation was cheaper for them. Thats what you went to them with, and fiscally it was best for them.

    And keep in mind the companys first responsibility is to the shareholders and owners, is to do whats best for the company.

    Doing otherwise will put them out of business. Its really no different than how most people run their own lives...first is take care of their own needs (and their family), then others come secondary.
    Not to beat a dead horse, but I disagree. Whether I took vacation or not they are paying the same amount of money and I would still be out 3 months. The company doesn't pay for short term disability - the insurance company does. I would have just taken the vacation pay after the 8 weeks initial disability instead of before.
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    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #8

    Sep 4, 2012, 10:25 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by picksie View Post
    Not to beat a dead horse, but I disagree. Whether I took vacation or not they are paying the same amount of money and I would still be out 3 months. The company doesn't pay for short term disability - the insurance company does. I would have just taken the vacation pay after the 8 weeks initial disability instead of before.
    You can disagree... but the fact is they legally aren't obligated to act on your best interest. They first and foremost have the obligation to do what's best for the company while following all relivent laws. And assist you on things. You after all work for them, they don't work for you.

    I have the benefit of over 30+ years in the workforce... and having dealt with more than 7 different employers over the years.

    I got REALLY screwed by an employer once... and its amazing what you will learn after dealing with the number of things they did to me, (but when all was said and done I got what was coming to me and I cost them well over $100,000 )... and the screwing I got I speak of dwarfs the one you just got..

    What you think is right rarely coincides with what the law requires. That was the first and hardest lesson I learned.
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    picksie Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #9

    Sep 4, 2012, 10:27 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by smoothy View Post
    You can disagree...but the fact is they legally aren't obligated to act on your best interest. They first and formost have the obligation to do whats best for the company while following all relivent laws. And assist you on things. You after all work for them, they don't work for you.

    I have the benifit of over 30+ years in the workforce....and having dealt with more than 7 different employers over the years.

    I got REALLY screwed by an employer once...and its amazing what you will learn after dealing with the number of things they did to me....and the screwing I got I speak of dwarfs the one you just got..

    What you think is right rarely coincides with what the law requires.
    Yes... that's certainly apparent. I am just disagreeing about your comment that they took the least expensive route. Regardless - you have helped me understand a bit more what my expectations need to be. Thanks.
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #10

    Sep 4, 2012, 10:36 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by picksie View Post
    Yes...that's certainly apparent. I am just disagreeing about your comment that they took the least expensive route. Regardless - you have helped me understand a bit more what my expectations need to be. thanks.
    Well with the disabiltiy they have to pay into that if its actually used... the vacation time was already allowed for as a benefit and budgeted...

    That's whay the vacation cost them less even though your disability pay would be less to you.

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