Can my employer take me off payroll and cancel my insurance if I’m on medical leave

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Can my employer take me off payroll and cancel my insurance if I’m on medical leave

Had a stroke and on medical leave and
employer wants to take me off payroll
and discontinue my insurance

Asked on December 1, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

While you're on medical leave, you may be protected by federal law. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will protect your health insurance benefits until you're able to return to work; your employer may not terminate your health insurance merely because you're unable to perform your job duties or your benefits have become a financial burden. Additionally, it requires that eligible companies allow workers 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year, either to receive medical attention for themselves or to care for a sick family member. Under the FMLA, workers cannot be fired while on medical leave. However, this law does not cover all employees, certain conditions must be met: 1. The FMLA only applies to business with 50 or more workers.2. The employee must have worked at least 1250 hours with the company over the previous 12 months;3. They must have been with the company for at least a year before taking leave;4. They must be on leave for a reason covered by the FMLA; and5. The employee needs to specify to their employer that they  are taking leave under the FMLA. If any of these conditions are not met, or if the employee uses up their 12-weeks but is still unable to return to work, their company can legally terminate them unless it can shows that the worker would have been terminated even if they had not taken medical leave. 


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