I have decided to fight hard against my company’s decision that intermittent FMLA cannot be used to pursue fertility treatments. I think I have a great case. If you read from the bottom up, you can see our conversation in May. The top is the draft I’m going to send this week.
Please let me know if you have anything to add, and feel free to borrow my words to use in your own advocacy if necessary. If you feel so inclined to link to this post so I can receive more input, I’d very much appreciate it.
Edit: I have deleted the rest of the email chain for privacy reasons.
I feel strongly that this matter deserves another look. Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system, and in Illinois there is a mandate for group insurance plans to cover infertility just like any other medical condition.
As FMLA can be used to attend to your own serious health condition (link to company’s intranet and leave definitions), I fail to see why infertility treatments do not qualify.
I recently completed an in-vitro fertilization attempt that required six days out of the office. In addition, I’ve had laparascopic surgery to treat endometriosis this year, which required two days off, and I took additional time to pursue other, less invasive treatment options before finally turning to IVF. All of this time was used attending to a medical condition that is standing in the way of building my family.
My IVF attempt was unsuccessful; therefore, I am looking at taking an additional 6 days before the end of 2011, and perhaps twice that if the second attempt is also unsuccessful.
I admire (Company)’s commitment to helping employees find a work-life balance, and the company’s goal to promote diversity. I feel that excluding infertile employees from utilizing FMLA in this matter directly contradicts both of these aims.
I have formed a local RESOLVE Peer-Led Infertility Support group, and through that experience I know that other large corporations here in town do allow employees to take intermittent FMLA in this instance.
Since it seems to be a subjective decision, I would greatly appreciate a chance to meet with the person who makes the decision to present my case. In a legal gray area, I feel decisions should be made in favor of employees who are already under enormous emotional and financial strain.