The Family Medical Leave Act, also known as FMLA, is a law that impacts medical practices across the country. This law allows employees to take a leave of absence for up to 12 weeks for medical reasons or family reasons. It is only applicable to eligible employees who have worked at a company for at least 1,250 hours during a 12-month period. When employees meet this eligibility, they are able to take this leave of absence if necessary and be guaranteed that they have a position to return to at the company. However, not every medical practice must provide their employees with FMLA leave. The law only requires employers who have 50 or more employees working at least 20 hours per week to comply with FMLA. In many cases, smaller medical practices do not have to provide their employees with this leave.
Employees may take FMLA leave for a variety of reasons, but one of the most common reasons is to take a leave after the birth or adoption of a new child. Some medical practices are faced with difficult situations when new mothers near the end of their leave and they request that their employer provide them with a new schedule that better meets their needs as a parent. Many medical practice supervisors feel uncomfortable about this because it is not always easy or possible to accommodate the needs of the new mother who is about to return to work. While it may be difficult to make these accommodations in the workplace, the employer may also not want to appear insensitive to the needs of a new parent.
While it may be difficult for managers or office administrators at medical practices to address these issues, it’s important to remind employees about their rights under the law. As an employer, the medical practice only has to guarantee that the employee has the same position to return to, or a similar position with the same hours and benefits. They are not obligated to accommodate a new work schedule after the FMLA leave is complete. If an employee makes a request and the employer cannot make the changes that have been asked for, it’s important to remind the employee that they can return to their previous position upon their leave but additional accommodations cannot be made at this time.
In many cases, medical practices can accommodate the needs of their employees after an FMLA leave. However, employers should not feel obligated or guilty if they cannot do so. It’s important to remember the limitations of the law and to be upfront with employees who are taking leave about their options when they return to work.
Last Updated on May 21, 2014