A longtime employee at one of the large universities in DC got sick with cancer and required extended leave to treat the disease. Prior to expiration of her FMLA leave, she contacted the employer to let them know that she was still weak from the medical treatment and could not yet work a full time schedule. However, the employer denied her request for a part-time schedule, placed her on unpaid leave and within two weeks, notified the employee that her failure to return to work full-time was tantamount to job abandonment. The Claimant Advocacy Program was able to win unemployment compensation for the worker by citing her fifteen years of service without any attendance issues, documentation of her medical condition, as well as evidence of prior temporary job accommodations made to two senior staff members for issues like a broken leg and back surgery.
The Claimant Advocacy Program (CAP) is a free legal counseling service available to individuals who file unemployment compensation appeals in the District of Columbia. Call 202-974-8150 for more info.