Leaves of absence require following procedure

Failing to fill out the proper company paperwork prior to taking a leave of absence has actually resulted in the firing of several members in recent months.

Although Local 324 has taken one of those cases all the way to arbitration, the decision is not expected to come for several months.

In the meantime, it would be wise for members to exercise hyper-caution when requesting a formal leave of absence.

Your rights are spelled out in the collective bargaining agreement and you should read and familiarize yourself with them. Food division members: articles 9 and 10. Drug division CVS: Articles 10, 11,12 and 13. Rite-aid articles 10 and 11.

State and federal laws also have many protections and additional rights that may protect you as well. Some of these reasons include: injury, sickness, death in the family and many others.

It is important that you follow the proper procedures when going out on a leave of absence. A doctor’s note may not be sufficient to satisfy your company’s requirements, especially if the leave exceeds one or two weeks.

Request the proper paperwork from your store director or call the human resource department to request the forms and procedures. Make sure to provide all doctors’ notes or other written verification to your employer in a timely manner.

Keep a file that includes copies of all correspondence and read all letters that you receive from the company carefully.

It is also important to contact the General Office regarding a withdrawal card before taking a leave. This will help you avoid any additional fees when you return to work.

When taking a leave your medical benefits may be impacted. Please contact the Benefits Department regarding any possible changes your leave may have on your coverage.

Should you have any questions regarding your rights to take a leave, please do not hesitate to call your union representative or the representative on duty at the Local.