So, when Asher got sick and we flew to Seattle, I asked to use my company’s benefits to take 6 weeks off and work through the problem. They day it was supposed to start was 4/24. Monday. He was dead by Tuesday. I thought, “Well, at least I got my leave approved.”
Can you use FMLA for the death of a spouse?
In previous cases, federal courts have held that FMLA leave rights only apply to a close relative with a “serious health condition.” Death is not considered such a condition and is outside the scope of the FMLA.
I got a call. “Are you on track to come back on 6/5?” he asked.
“Yep, on-track.” I replied
“So your son’s doing well?” he asked.
“No. He died.”
“Oh, then you don’t qualify anymore.”
Like, here’s the thing. They sent me an email on Monday. A single question, “Are you on-track to return y/n.” If I had answered that, and not waited for the phone call… who would have known? I would have completed my time off and no one would have been the wiser.
Maybe I bit off more than other folks, but putting together AsherCon has been a full time endeavor for the last (4) weeks. Between that and making sure the living people in my family have the emotional support they need. I may have lost a son, but so did my wife. Any my other sons lost a brother. In fact, one may have lost a 2nd brother if the brother doesn’t pull his head out of his posterior.
(13) days. Most companies have (13) days of “UNPAID TIME OFF” for bereavement. How is this humane? Maybe with a parent. Maybe with a grandparent. Maybe these things can be handled in (2) weeks. I didn’t receive Asher’s cremains in (2) weeks. How does this make sense?
I see these twitter/reddit posts about “What radicalized you?”. This might be it. This might be the thing that breaks me. Not the idiotic Trumpists. Not the failure of our government to function. This. Assuming a person CAN and SHOULD return to the job after (2) weeks. Are you fricken’ kidding me?
This week… I’m finally starting to think about my grief. I’m finally starting to process the chaos.
And now you want my wages back… only because he’s dead… if he had lived… there’d be no problem…
Asher’s first words after getting extubated was, “Burn it with fire!” He was referring to the device that kept the tube in his face.
I think I might apply it to something else.
After telling me I didn’t qualify anymore because he died… he asked, “Is there any other questions I can answer for you?”
“Sure. How do you justify telling parents who just lost their child that the world is a much crueler place than they thought it was 10 minutes ago.”
“Sometimes policies and laws don’t do what we want them to–”
“Don’t tell me that crap. You could have ignored my response. You could have acknowledged that I was honest. You could have just accepted a ‘Yes’ and then hung up. You’re the one that has to look at yourself in the mirror. I’ll never see you again.”
“That’s not fair–”
“Look, unless you need something more from me, we’re done speaking.”
You always have a choice. There’s always a choice. And your choice sucked.