Will I have a job still after my surgery?

Frank S. Clowney III

Receiving a serious medical diagnosis that requires surgery can be stressful. There are countless things to worry about, but you shouldn’t have to worry about losing your job while you are unable to work.

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) lets you take unpaid leave for family and medical reasons. The FMLA protects your job during this time and healthcare benefits continue as well. Not everybody is allowed to utilize the FMLA because your and your employer must meet specific requirements.

Do I qualify for medical leave?

To qualify for the Family Medical Leave Act, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be employed by a covered employer
  • Work for 12 months or longer for the covered employer
  • Work 1,250 hours during the previous 12-month period before the leave
  • Be employed at a location with over 50 employees in a 75-mile radius

How can I use the FMLA?

If you qualify for leave, you may use up to 12 weeks of leave within a year for any of the following reasons:

  • The birth of a child
  • Adopting a child
  • To care for a family member with a serious health condition
  • A serious health condition that leaves you unable to work

Additionally, you may be able to take up to 26 weeks of leave during a year to care for a covered family member who is in the military.

If your employer has denied your FMLA request, but you believe you qualify for the leave, consider speaking with an employment lawyer. They can help identify the options available to you and what the next steps are moving forward.