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Self Medical Leave

Attorneys Advocating for the Workplace Rights of Dallas Residents

You may have a right to take medical leave if you suffer from a severe health condition under various laws. The main law that may protect your right to take medical leave for a serious medical condition is a federal law, rather than a state law. At Rob Wiley, P.C., our Dallas employment lawyers represent employees who are subjected to discrimination or retaliation for taking self medical leave.

Self Medical Leave

The primary law that protects an employee’s right to take a leave for personal medical reasons is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This is a federal law that may apply to you if you have worked for at least a year for the employer, you have worked for 1,250 hours in the previous year, and there are 50 employees who work within 75 miles of your jobsite. If you are eligible under the FMLA, you may be able to take 12 weeks of job-protected leave in a single year. There are different ways to calculate the one-year period, including the prior 12 months, the 12 months since taking leave on the previous occasion, and the calendar year. When an employer does not provide leave to which you are entitled or fails to follow the rules related to leave, you may be able to sue for this violation of your rights.

You are entitled to take FMLA leave without fear of reprisal. Your employer should not retaliate against you, either for asking for FMLA leave or for taking FMLA leave. Retaliation can include any adverse employment action, including termination, failure to hire, failure to promote, demotion, or other negative changes in the terms and conditions of your employment. You may be able to sue for damages with the assistance of an attorney if the employer retaliates against you.

Defining a Serious Health Condition

There are a number of situations for which you can take FMLA leave. Among these situations is a serious health condition that renders you unable to perform essential job duties. Serious health conditions include injuries, illnesses, impairments, or mental or physical conditions that involve inpatient care in a hospice, hospital, or residential medical care facility or continuing treatment by a health care provider.

While it is straightforward to figure out whether you required inpatient care for your condition, it can be more difficult to determine whether you are entitled to FMLA leave because you are undergoing continuing treatment. This definition is supposed to be broad and cover various illnesses or conditions that require you to be away from work in a recurring fashion or for more than a few days to recover or get treatment. The leave is not for short-term conditions or minor surgical procedures that do not require hospitalization.

Different definitions have been developed for various periods of incapacity, such as for pregnancy, for chronic serious health conditions, for permanent or long-term conditions for which treatment is not effective, for treatments after an accident or other injury, or for any medical condition likely to cause incapacity for more than three days in a row when there is no medical intervention. Conditions that usually do not meet FMLA leave requirements include a common cold, earache, upset stomach, flu, minor ulcer, non-migraine headache, periodontal disease, or routine dental problem.

Medical Certification

If you ask for self medical leave for a serious health condition, your employer can ask for a medical certification from your health care provider to verify that you have a serious health condition. Your employer also can assuage its doubts about the validity of your provider’s certification by asking you to get a second opinion from a different health care provider at the employer’s expense.

Seek Guidance from an Experienced Dallas Attorney

If you are worried that your employer may take an adverse employment action against you, or if you believe that your employer has taken an adverse action against you, based on your taking self medical leave, you should discuss your situation with an experienced attorney. We represent people in Dallas and other cities in Dallas, Collin, Denton, Tarrant, Rockwall, and Ellis Counties. Call us at (214) 528-6500 or contact us via our online form.

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