(Closed) Would I Be Abusing Medical Leave by Quitting? [Long, but TL;DR at Bottom!]

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 2
528 posts
Busy bee

I read the whole post, not just the TLDR.

Morally, the point at which you decide you will no longer be returning to work is the point at which you should contact your workplace and quit and not take any further medical disability.

If you do decide to take the whole disability and not return, I would be worried about your company making you repay everything, including the previous amount that you rightfully used (assuming up until now it was okay).

Post # 3
9841 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Is your insurance through your work place? Is it paying for the therapy?

Because yes sometimes you will have to back pay for insurance costs if you don’t return from FMLA.

Post # 4
1339 posts
Bumble bee

Continue your treatment. As long as you are under the care of a doctor, seeking treatment, and unable to do your job duties, you are entitled to the benefits of your STD policy. It happens a lot that people aren’t ready to go back once STD or FMLA is exhausted. 

Post # 5
70 posts
Worker bee

I would check with the FMLA regulations as that may require you to return to work. If even just for 2 weeks. However, I would care more about my mental well being than if I was going to upset the boss that put me in that position in the first place! You have your great reviews and whatever company you work for in the future will appreciate that! Therefore, I wouldn’t worry about morally doing the right thing at this point, rather just ensure that FMLA doesn’t require you to return after the leave to cover the benefits.

Post # 6
545 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

If you know that you will not be returning to work now, ethically I think you should resign. I don’t know if you’re concerned at all about your professional reputation, but it probably wouldn’t go over well if someone found out that you didn’t plan to return yet you allowed them to think you would (while they held your position open).

If you aren’t going to resign I would look through your benefits/administrative manual just to confirm that you won’t have to pay anything back.

Ultimately your mental health is the most important. It doesn’t sound like you should return, even temporarily, especially after you’re seeking treatment to heal from it.

Post # 7
837 posts
Busy bee

Your husbands idea is sound… Put in the exact amount of time needed to keep your benefits not a second more… I too worked in a toxic enviroment, it is incredibly damaging to all aspects of your life.

Post # 8
942 posts
Busy bee

Do you need recommendations from your current employer to obtain future employment? Would quitting in any certain manner impact those recommendations?  Nonetheless, I hear it’s pretty common for people to not return from medical leaves and to end up quitting after their medical leave, so perhaps they wouldn’t be too surprised if that is what you decided to do!  I am very happy to hear you’re able to do the outpatient program and get back to being healthy!  I hope everything goes better once you’re back closer to your family and have a job with a healthier work environment!j  It sounds like your DH is very supportive!

Post # 9
177 posts
Blushing bee

Been there done that. Go on leave. You’ve taken enough of their abuse and I’m sure they wouldn’t hesitate to fire you so why care about them? Do it. 

Post # 10
650 posts
Busy bee

Unfortunately, business dealings are less about relationships and morals than they are about the law. You could potentially be putting yourself in a position to be sued by your employer for fraud. It doesn’t matter if they treat you badly, you will be committing fraud if you don’t disclose to them immediately that you don’t plan to return. 

I’m sorry your work environment is bad (really!) but you need to make sure you have a legal leg to stand on. Talk to your local employment office or get a consultation from an employment attorney before you potentially shoot yourself in the foot. 

Post # 11
2266 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

View original reply
annonhere :  Absolutely not unethical and from what you say, the correct step. FMLA is a time to look after your health and try – as you say – to get better. If the primary cause of your ill health is the job you are taking a break from, it is absolutely appropriate to choose not to return to it. 

This job is a hostile workplace. Much like if you were encountering chemicals that were damaging your cell tissue, the only way to escape the harm you are experiencing is to remove yourself from exposure. It is a measure of how overwhelmed you’ve been that it took getting away from the situation for you to notice how different you feel when you aren’t forced to cope with it. From what you describe, you might even have a case to sue your employer, but it doesn’t sound like that’s an avenue you want to pursue. 

You are entitled to these benefits. If you realize that going back will damage your health and marriage, you are perfectly within your rights to choose not to.

Sell your house. Cut your losses. Move home. Start again. 


Post # 12
1475 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I generally say you do you, because the employers will always do theirs.  

But that means figuring out exactly what “doing you” means. It means doing what’s best for you in your situation, and not necessarily doing what you want to do.  So that includes figuring out things like how important it is to you to leave on good terms and with a good reference and how feasible it is for you to continue to work at your current job given your treatment.  

Post # 13
1257 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
annonhere :  I would really check with your HR department about not having to pay back short term disability if you do not return to work.  At my employer, you have to pay back premiums paid to you during STD or FMLA if you do not return to work afterwards for a minimum of 30 days.  At the company my friend works for, you have to return for 60 days.  This is important especially if you are using medical benefits through your employer.  They may ask you to pay back their portion of the insurance if you do not return to work.

What I would do is put the house up for sale, take whatever FMLA or STD I need, return to work for the minumum amount of time necessary so I didn’t get in “trouble”, then just quit.  Yes, I think it’s easier to get a job while you’re still hired, but if you’re moving back to a different geographical location, employers understand if there is a gap in employment.  If you really don’t need your salary then it makes it easier.  If your department has already had a few employees quit, maybe they’ll start seeing a pattern, but I wouldn’t bank on it.

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