Medical leave issues can easily trip up employees and employers. It pays to know your rights.
Unfortunately, issues relating to medical leave in the workplace are common and can stem from employees or employers not understanding the policy, and can even include subtle discrimination. Vivienne Parra of Virginia was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. When she requested FMLA, her colleagues verbally badgered her. “I would get comments about my appearance, like, ‘For a cancer patient, you don’t look sick,’” she remembers. “It was pretty rough.”
She took leave and then found out that she’d been terminated before having the opportunity to return to work. Distraught, Parra contacted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commis-sion (EEOC), which provided her with a list of lawyers for possible representation. It took her a few years to settle in with a law group, but the issue has now been resolved.
Not all scenarios end this way. If you are planning to take extended medical leave, follow this step-by-step guide to ensure the best outcome.