Thursday, January 1, 2009

What would YOU do??

Okay, I need some opinions here...

If you've been following me, you know I fell and broke my ankle on 12/10/08. I work with a school district where I am the secretary at an elementary campus. I am in charge of time sheets, monthly payroll, including keying in substitute pay. Here's my dilemna...

I applied for FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) since I didn't know how long I would be out. I have about 120 days of paid sick leave so I am not worried about not getting paid while I am absent. However, no one has been willing to be cross-trained in my job responsibilities. My son is a computer tech with the same school district and he has hooked me up with the ability to access my computer at work from home. So while I am at home I can do my work as if I am sitting in front of my computer. I have done, and continue to do, all payroll from home. If I don't key in absences for employees, the subs called in do not get paid. There is NO ONE at my campus who knows how to do this, so it is IMPERATIVE that it get done.

When my daughter had her baby 4 yrs ago I was in the same predicament. I applied for FMLA and the clerk at Risk Management asked me who was doing my work. I told her that I was going into the office from 5-7 pm daily to do it. She told me that since I was still "officially working" it would be up to my principal to make some arrangements with me, because when you are on FMLA, you CANNOT be at your work place AT ALL. At that time, I took 20 days of sick leave but was not marked absent because I was still working, albeit not a full 8 hr day, but my work was getting done.

What would you do? Would you ask that the same considerations be taken into account as when my grandson was born? There is NO WAY that my work will be done if I don't do it. I hate to think what would happen if I was incapacitated, example: if I was hospitalized, or God forbid, if I was gone...

What would you do? Ask for special consideration or just let the school district take the sick leave days (since I will not be docked at all). I am a VERY loyal employee and don't want to let my campus/employees/substitutes down.

Thanks for any input!!


  1. Hi Estela.
    I found it odd the person asked "you" who would do your work while you were out. That is a management issue to address, not yours. If you apply for leave and need to be off for whatever the reason, then you should be allowed to take it.
    If it were me - I would talk with my Management and tell them it is not satisfactory how they've been managing your leave time. They need a back-up plan because who knows - you could win the powerball or lotto and never come back (prefer that over your scenario, lol).
    If they are not charging you leave, or a portion of it, then it sounds like that is their back-up plan. If this is not working for you - you will need to address it with them.
    Best wishes!

  2. I have FMLA for my back which I only have to use occasionally. Which means I may work 4 hours and have to go home and take 8 hours off or visa versa. So even if your working at home it probably isn't as many hours as you would get at the school. So you should be entitled to it. However, they have put you in a terrible position by not having anyone who can do your job. What about vacations or if you get seriously ill and don't feel like working while your home sick. That should be addressed.

  3. Well, as you know, I am was in the same situation. I go back on Monday :(.....Anyway, I took my sick leave, but still had to do the bookkeeping, bills, etc. I did have someone who could do some of the sub time sheets, but I don't have to input it, we get it ready and our county office inputs it. So, for the most part, my son would stop by and get the work, I would do it all and someone at work would turn it in. As for the writing checks, doing bank statements, as well as ALL of the bookkeeping stuff, I am the only one who can do that (elementary school secretary as well)...Because they configured my computer to their network, I couldn't bring it home to do it. They didn't want me to connect from home, so I did all the Pre-paperwork, then went in a few times to write checks. Basically a lot of things were put on hold until I could get to them. IT was hard, but that's how it had to be done. Luckily I was out the week before Thanksgiving through the Christmas break, so actually two and half weeks of that schools were closed as well. Oh and we were lucky enough to have a snow day as well! LOL

    Good luck, but if you want to do it at home, I would and make them either not take sick time or give you comp time. I understand wanting to do the work yourself. If I am to be audited at the end of the year, then I want to be the one doing the work. Let me know what happens!

  4. I would say that you should get special consideration. If you are doing one day's worth of work per week from home, then you should get charged sick time for the others. I also agree that you need a sit down with your supervisor when you get back and discuss your concerns about not having a backup.

  5. ask for the special consideration...
    Wish we had someone like you in our district! so dedicated
    Happy Oh nine!

  6. You should get special consideration. Your sick time is your benefit to which you are entitled. If you are going to be using that AND doing your work from home they should give you special consideration.

  7. Thank you EVERYONE for your input!

    I gave it some thought and realized I really can't do anything about the days that I will be out. If I am out 20 days, then 20 days will be sent in to payroll.

    BUT...I am going to request 5 days of comp time for when I go back. I will use those days as needed. If the school year ends and I have not used them, then I will carry them over to next year.

    Estela in South TX

  8. You are a valuable employee if no one else can do the work you do. They should just shut up and accept their paychecks. LOL

    My probation ends on February 17. Thanks for asking & for keeping me in your prayers.