Returning to work after taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act can be tricky: Employers don't always offer employees everything they're entitled to, and many employees are hesitant to speak up. This article highlights five things that are important for returning employees to consider.
This article by TELG principal Adam Augustine Carter and TELG managing principal R. Scott Oswald was published by MomsRising.org on January 22, 2015. The full article is available at MomsRising.org.
The Family and Medical Leave Act: Making the Most of Your Protections
This February marks the twenty-second anniversary of President Clinton signing into law the Family and Medical Leave Act. More widely recognized by its abbreviation, the FMLA provides a bevy of protections to employees who are — or have family members who are — suffering from an illness. Perhaps most importantly, the FMLA provides that, over a twelve month period, eligible employees are entitled to take twelve workweeks of leave and return to their same position and under the same conditions.
Though seemingly straight-forward, the FMLA can lead to disputes between employees who want nothing more than to return to their job and employers who would prefer simply to replace an employee who needs to take leave. Indeed, the story is all too common. After months of fighting, an employee finally overcomes whatever medical condition has ailed her. All that is left is for some follow-up treatments and to return to work. To the employee’s surprise, she now finds herself in a fight with her employer over the nature of your return.
We like to think that most employers will warmly embrace the return of an employee who has survived a serious illness. But that is not always the case. Below, we outline the Top Five steps that an employee must take when returning to work.