Self-Help Action Plan 1: “Totally Frazzled from Work? Here’s What You Can Do”

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SkloverWorkingWisdom™ – Self-Help Action Plan 1

“Totally Frazzled from Work?
Here’s What You Can Do”

A Plan for Addressing Extreme Exhaustion
and Possible Need for Time Off

© 2015 Alan L. Sklover


Employees often report that their job duties – and the way they are being treated at work – have been made them feel exhausted, drained, frustrated, bullied, confused and near debilitated. They report feeling hopeless, anxious, depressed, and unable to work, sleep, eat or think straight. If this describes you, you probably need to do something about it. It is for people in this situation that we have prepared this Self-Help Plan of Action 1, entitled “Totally Frazzled from Work? Here’s What You Can Do.”™


*Samples of all Model Letters, Memos and Emails are listed at the end of this Action Plan 1.

**Conditions of Use: You understand and agree that (i) this “Action Plan” is generalized career and workplace information, and does not constitute legal advice or counsel, (ii) you must adapt this “Plan of Action” to your specific, individual facts, events and circumstances, and (iii) you will not seek to hold this website, its writers, owners, affiliates, including Mr. Sklover, liable for any disappointments, problems, losses or claims that might arise after or from your use of this Plan of Action.

A. TAKE A DAY OR TWO OFF: Call in sick; rest; contact your health professional.

1. If you are feeling “way off balance,” “really not yourself,” “out of it,” or afraid you could have a heart attack or nervous breakdown, you should, first and foremost, immediately see a physician or other health professional.

2. You probably need a break to rest, recuperate and recover, more than anything, but what to do should be done with your health professional.

3. Don’t fret that “I can’t take a day or two off,” because everyone has a right to do so. Thinking that taking a day or two off for health reasons is not possible because you have such important things to do may, in itself, be a sign of emotional exhaustion.

4. Send an email to your manager stating that you do not feel well, and will be out for one or two days. [We offer a Model Email for this purpose – See Below.]

To STAND UP FOR YOURSELF, we offer Model COMPLAINT OF BULLY BOSS TO CEO AND HR, you can adapt and use. Shows you “What to Say, and How to Say It.” To get your copy, just [click here.] Delivered to your printer in minutes.

B. Consider taking a protected UNPAID FMLA LEAVE of Absence.

5. The Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), a U.S. federal law, permits employees in companies with 50+ employees to take an unpaid leave of absence for up to 12 weeks. [You may read our article: “FMLA: The 50 Things You Need to Know” ]

6. Incidentally, many states have laws that provide that even smaller companies must provide similar leaves of absence.

7. FMLA also guarantees almost all employees a legal right to return to their former jobs after the leave, or a “substantially similar” one.

8. If you have a spouse or partner, discuss with him or her your difficulty and your plan to deal with it, possibly by taking an unpaid FMLA leave of absence. Finances may have to be considered and adjusted.

9. It is understandable that your family finances may make an unpaid leave impossible. Consider use of savings, borrowing, family or friends, if need be.

10. Bear in mind: between your health and your finances, your health has to come first.

C. Consult YOUR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL.

11. Ask your health care professional if he or she would support your FMLA request to take up to 12 weeks off without pay. Most will do so. If yours will not, consult contacting another.

12. Make sure your health care professional receives and returns the required “FMLA Certification” forms that your employer may require. [See Below.]

D. Consider Requesting An UNPAID FMLA LEAVE of Absence.

13. If you decide it is best to request an unpaid FMLA leave of absence, send a memo to Human Resources asking for FMLA forms, policies and procedures [We offer a Model Memo for this purpose. See Below.]

14. If you have a copy of your employer’s Employee Handbook, review any policies and procedures your employer may have for taking a FMLA Leave of Absence and Short Term Disability.

15. Send a brief email to your manager advising him or her that you will be applying for a FMLA leave of absence. [We offer a Model Email for this purpose. See Below.]

16. Prepare a simple email note to have on hand to respond to any colleagues who may inquire about how you are feeling, stating that you are taking a short time off because you are a bit under the weather. [We offer a Model Email for this purpose. See Below.]

17. Larger employers often require their FMLA-leave employees to apply for “Short Term Disability.” Thus, you may be contacted by an Insurance Company representative or outsourced service that administers your employer’s FMLA.

18. Clarify with HR or the Insurance Company what (a) sick time, vacation time, etc. is due and will be paid during FMLA, (b) what bonus, commissions or raises will be provided, as well as (c) what benefits will continue. [We offer a Model Email for this purpose. See Below.]

19. It is fairly common that, during your FMLA leave of absence, you will receive payment for unused sick and vacation days, and Short Term Disability payments. A few employers even pay salary or part salary during this time.

E. During Your FMLA Leave, CAREFULLY CONSIDER THE ALTERNATIVES.

20. As explained above, as you recuperate and recover, with your health care professional you may consider (i) if you will return to your job, (ii) if you will return to your job after requesting a “disability accommodation,” (iii) if you will file a complaint of hostility, bullying or discrimination, (iv) if you will seek another job elsewhere, (v) if you will seek severance, or (vi) if you will involuntarily resign.

21. You might consider, as well, requesting an extension of your FMLA leave; Although the FMLA law does not require it, some employers will grant it.

22. You might consider retaining an employment attorney to guide you, or represent you, in the various paths you may follow.

F. During Your FMLA Leave of Absence – SEEK WORKERS COMPENSATION?

23. If you and your doctor believe your condition was caused by something at work, and do not think you will be able to return to work, you might consider seeking Workers Compensation, which is a state-run program that compensates employees “injured on the job” for both (a) lost wages and (b) medical expense.

24. If this seems a potential step for you, before communicating with HR on this, first consult an experienced Workers Compensation attorney licensed in your locale. (Workers Compensation is a kind of legal specialty; make sure any attorney you consult does a lot of this work, or even better, exclusively this kind of work.)

25. Bear in mind that Workers Compensation may not be a good idea if your injuries are primarily emotional.

G. During Your FMLA Leave – File a DISCRIMINATION/HARASSMENT/HOSTILITY COMPLAINT?

26. If your stress, anxiety, depression or other difficulty at work is caused by being discriminated against, harassed, or bullied, consider filing a formal, written Complaint with Human Resources. [We offer a Model Memo for this purpose. See Below.]

27. If you later decide not to return to your job, having filed a written complaint may provide you with some additional leverage to obtain a better severance package.

H. If you plan to return – REQUEST “DISABILITY ACCOMODATION?”

28. During your FMLA leave, you and your health care professional should consider whether it is likely that you will be able to return to the same work environment you were in, or whether you need something in your work environment to change.

29. During your FMLA leave, discuss with your health care professional whether you may have a “limitation on a basic life function” that makes it harder for you to work at your job, such as a limitation on your ability to (a) sleep, (b) eat, (c) digest your food, (d) focus your mind, or (e) think clearly, etc.

30. If yes, that limitation may qualify as a “disability.” On that basis, you have a legal right to request a reasonable modification of your work circumstance that would enable you to work; the law calls this a “reasonable accommodation.”

31. These could include such things as (a) a quieter room in which to work, (b) working from home two days a week, (c) being assigned one task at a time, (d) even re-assignment to a related but less stressful position.

32. If you wish to request a “reasonable disability accommodation” when you return to work, we offer a Model Letter to do so. [See Below.]

I. During Your FMLA Leave of Absence – SEEK A POSITION ELSEWHERE?

33. During FMLA leave, if you feel up to it, you are free to seek employment elsewhere, although it may not be wise to tell your employer or your colleagues you are doing so.

34. There is nothing in the FMLA law that requires that you return to your job at leave’s end.

35. If asked by interviewers, “Why are you on leave?” you can honestly say “To assist a family member with a medical problem.”

36. If asked by interviewers, “Why do you want to leave?” you should have a “good reason” ready to share that is not critical of your manager or employer. [We offer a List of “50 Good Reasons to Explain Your Departure From Your Job.” See Below.]

37. If you obtain a new position, do not resign from your present job until all of the details of your new job are clarified, and all “conditions” for it – such as a background check – are fully met.

38. We offer a list of items to potentially negotiate in new employment. [See Below.]

39. If you are going to resign, in this circumstance, we highly recommend using an “Involuntary Resignation,” an idea we invented. To read more about it, go to our article: “Involuntary Resignation – Standing Up, Not Giving Up, to an Intolerable Situation at Work” [We also offer a Model Involuntary Resignation. See Below.]

40. If you have filed a formal Complaint of Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation or Bullying, as noted above, you may also consider a Proactive, Preemptive Request for a Severance Package. [We offer a Model Memo for this purpose. See Below.]

If you are Suffering from a Bully Boss, we offer Model ANONYMOUS BULLY BOSS COMPLAINT to Your Employer, for your adaptation. Shows you “What to Say, and How to Say It.” To get your copy, just [click here.] Delivered to your printer in minutes.

J. Summary

41. It is our hope and expectation that this Self-Help Action Plan will provide you with (a) some peace of mind, body and spirit, (b) reduction of stress, (c) assistance in moving forward, and (d) the best chance to make a wise decision regarding (i) returning to work, (ii) return to work with an accommodation, (iii) seeking a new position elsewhere, (iv) requesting a severance package, (v) filing an internal complaint, or (vi) “involuntarily resigning.”

42. Our blogsite offers many articles and videos on each of these topics.

43. Below we offer Model Emails, Memos, Letters, and Checklists to help you along the way.


MODEL MEMOS, LETTERS, EMAILS AND CHECKLISTS
NOTED ABOVE ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP YOU HELP YOURSELF

 

Just Click to Obtain: Purchase One, or the Entire “Ultimate Package”

A. All Email Messages Noted in this Action Plan 1 (All In One):
All 5 for $47.75

To Obtain: Click Here

i. Email To Manager, Advising that You Will Be Out for a Day or Two
ii. Email to Colleagues, Who May Contact You to See How You Are
iii. Second Email to Manager, Advising that You Will Be Going Out on a FMLA Leave
iv. Email to HR or Insurer Requesting Leave Start and End Dates
v. Second Email to HR Requesting Critical Info on Payments, Benefits, etc.

 

B. Model Memos Noted in this Action Plan 1: [Purchase Separately or Entire Set]

i. Model Memo to HR Asking For FMLA Forms, Policies, Procedures   $47.75

To Obtain: Click Here

ii. Formal Complaint of Discrimination, Harassment or Bullying   $57.75

To Obtain: Click Here

iii. Request for a Disability Accommodation Upon Return to Work   $67.75

To Obtain: Click Here

iv. Preemptive, Proactive Request for Severance   $67.75

To Obtain: Click Here

v. Involuntary Resignation Letter   $77.75

To Obtain: Click Here

vi. Memo to Family and Friends: “I Am Seeking a New Job.”   $62.75

To Obtain: Click Here

 

C. Checklists and Videos Mentioned in this Action Plan: [Each Priced Separately]

i. Master Checklist of New Employment Negotiation Items   $67.75

To Obtain: Click Here

ii. 50 Good Reasons to Explain Why You Left Your Old Job   $72.75

To Obtain: Click Here

Or Buy Them All, in our ”Ultimate Package, at a 51% Discount!!

All Items Above are in our “Ultimate TOTALLY FRAZZLED Package.”   $277.95

To Obtain: Click Here

 

D. Need Telephone Counsel?[Click] to our “Telephone Consultation” Section


***Don’t forget: If you become a SkloverWorkingWisdom™ “Blog Family Member” – which costs nothing, but gets you our free monthly newsletters – you get a 10% discount on all of our Model Memos, Letters, Emails, Checklists and Consultations.

**Conditions of Use: You understand and agree that (i) this “Action Plan” is generalized career and workplace information, and does not constitute legal advice or counsel, (ii) you must adapt this “Plan of Action” to your specific, individual facts, events and circumstances, and (iii) you will not seek to hold this website, its writers, owners, affiliates, including Mr. Sklover, liable for any disappointments, problems, losses or claims that might arise after or from your use of this Plan of Action.

© 2015, Alan L. Sklover All Rights Reserved. Commercial Use Prohibited.
SkloverWorkingWisdom.com

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