How long does an employer have to get you back on the schedule after medical leave?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How long does an employer have to get you back on the schedule after medical leave?

I went on medical leave 4 months ago and was on it for little over a month. When my leave was over I never was called back or put back on the schedule. I called multiple times to see why and was told the right person to talk to was not there and gave them my information multiple times. I even went into my store to talk to someone and was blown off. Do I have grounds for a lawsuit against them?

Asked on November 10, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

What do you mean by you went on medical leave? Did you use Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave? (This would require that your company have at least 50 employees who work at locations within a 75 mile radius, that you had worked there at least a year, and that you had worked at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 months.) Or did you have and use sufficient paid time off (PTO) which you had accrued, like sick or personal or vacation days, to cover your absence? If you did either of these for your leave--FMLA or PTO--they had to put you back on schedule once you came back, assuming you are medically capable of doing your job. If they failed to do so, they would have either retaliated against you for using a protected, legally guarateed benefit (FMLA) or for using part of your earned compensation (PTO you had earned) and, in either event, could sue them--the lawsuit would be slightly different depending on which you had used (FMLA or PTO), but they could not deny putting you back on for using either. If one of these was what happened, contact an employment law attorney to discuss the actions you may take.
However, if you did not use FMLA or PTO, they could refuse to schedule you or even formally terminate you. There is no right to miss work for medical reasons except if you use FMLA leave or PTO; therefore, you had unauthorized absences and they do not need to continue employing you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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