Many employees in Ohio and throughout the country are eligible to take medical leave when they have suffered an injury or illness. This leave is intended to allow you to recover and focus on your health without worrying about going to work or not having a job when you return. Returning to work from medical leave, however, is not always a smooth transition. To ensure you do not run into trouble when going back to work, follow the below tips.
Know Your Rights
Before taking medical leave, you should always make sure your employer offers leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), as not all employers are required to. If you are able to take FMLA leave, it is also important to know that you have rights upon your return. You have the right to work in the same position you were in when you left, or one that is similar in position, pay, and duties. You may also be entitled to take additional leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) if you are not ready to return to work.
Communicate With Your Employer
Although you are not required to communicate with your employer while away on medical leave, it is a good idea to keep in touch with them. Sending a weekly email telling them briefly about your recovery and how you are doing can help keep the professional relationship intact while you are away and can make your return easier. Also remember that your employer has the right to contact you for status updates during your leave.
Make a Plan
Returning to work requires a coordinated effort between you and your employer. Meet with your employer, supervisor, or HR department to find out if there is any paperwork you have to complete before or upon your return. Also ask about any projects you will be taking on when you come back, and talk about any accommodations you may need.
Ask About a Fitness-for-Duty Certification
Your employer has the right to request a fitness-for-duty certificate, which essentially states that you are healthy enough to return to work. Your employer may not ask for this but ask them if it is required so you can prepare for it if necessary.
Talk to Your Employer About Reduced Hours
You may not be able to take on the full responsibility of your job right away when you return from medical leave. Talk to your employer about reduced or more flexible hours, even if it is only for a short period of time.
Speak to an Ohio Employment Lawyer
Hopefully, your employer will want to work with you, uphold your rights, and ensure the smoothest transition possible when you return to work from medical leave. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. If you feel as though your employer is not complying with the law, our Columbus employment lawyers at Marshall & Forman, LLC are here to help. We know the rights of employees in the state, and how to hold employers accountable when they do not uphold them. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help.