Our patients often request our help preparing paperwork for their absence from work or school under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) while recovering from surgery. Here are some of their most-asked questions regarding the process.
FMLA stands for the Family and Medical Leave Act. It is a United States labor law enacted in 1993 to protect the rights of eligible employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons. The law was introduced to balance the demands of work and family life and allow employees to address significant life events without fear of losing their jobs. Key provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act include:
Eligibility: To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must have worked for their employer for at least 12 months, have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours in the preceding 12 months, and be employed at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles.
Reasons for Leave: FMLA provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period for the following reasons:
a. The birth of a child, and care for the newborn child within one year of birth.
b. The placement of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement.
c. To care for the employee's spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition.
d. For a serious health condition (medically necessary) that makes the employee unable to perform their job.
Job Protection: During the FMLA leave, the employer is required to maintain the employee's health benefits as if they were actively working, and the employee must be reinstated to the same or an equivalent position upon returning from leave.
Military Family Leave: FMLA also provides eligible employees with additional leave for specific military-related reasons, such as to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness or for certain exigencies related to a family member's military service.
It's essential to note that FMLA leave is unpaid, but employees may use their accrued paid leave (such as sick leave or vacation time) during their FMLA absence. Some states may have their own family and medical leave laws that provide additional benefits beyond the federal FMLA.
The types of procedures that may fall under FMLA include:
Serious Health Condition: FMLA allows employees to take leave for their own serious health condition or to care for a family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition. A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that requires inpatient care or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider. This may include medically necessary (non-elective/cosmetic) surgeries, hospitalizations, treatments for chronic conditions, or serious medical/health conditions.
Childbirth and Newborn Care: FMLA provides eligible employees with the right to take leave for the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth. This includes prenatal medical appointments and recovery time after childbirth.
FMLA leave is only available for serious health conditions that affect an individual's ability to perform their job.
Elective procedures, by definition, are planned and scheduled in advance and are not considered serious health conditions under FMLA.
Therefore, at Zuri Plastic Surgery we do not fill out FMLA paperwork. We appreciate your understanding.
Complications or Adverse Reactions: If an elective plastic surgery procedure leads to unexpected complications or adverse reactions that require inpatient care or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider, it might be considered a serious health condition.
Therefore, that is a different situation and can be eligible for FMLA.
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