I posted to the forum to get advice on insurance coverage issues that, as most laymen workers, I do not understand fully.
No one disputes that.
I was refering to FMLA as a job-protection issue, and not about the insurance coverage. I was wondering if I have any recourse against them laying me off while on FMLA.
If they laid you off BECAUSE you were on FMLA: yes. If the decision to lay you off would have been made regardless of your being on FMLA: no. FMLA does not stop the employer from taking any action that they would take even if the employee was actively working and not using FMLA.
And I was salaried, if this has any bearing here, and had been with co. for 16 years.
Exempt or non-exempt has no bearing and your length of employment means you were qualified for FMLA protection based upon length of service. Neither affords you any extra protection.
As to the pretext, they did slide in somebody new into my "position".
Laying you off doesn't mean that no one does your job at all. If they consolidated positions then someone new would be doing your job. If your job is to polish widgets and they need to reduce numbers due to low widget sales they can combine the job into polishing and manufacturing widgets. If you only polish they can lay you off and put someone new in the job who can do both tasks.
This NICE co also had in the past couple years laid off a supervisor the very week that his wife was to start cancer treatment. Nice indeed.
Is there a convenient time for lay offs? While on the surface it looks cruel it may in fact be only business and if business is suffering they can't keep EVERYONE on the payroll because of his wife's condition to the point that the business closes it's doors and all the employees lose their jobs. If there was something nefarious going on as to your termination I highly doubt they would continue to pay your benefits until the 20th. They would simply cut you off with no advance notice. As I said before they went much farther than they were legaly required to and gave you more notice than many employers would. You will still have coverage, you will just have to use COBRA and pay out of pocket.
"That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong." Dennis Miller