Can my employer deny me time off for surgery?

UPDATED: Jun 7, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jun 7, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can my employer deny me time off for surgery?

I need surgery. However my employer said that I’ve been out too many times this year on medical leave and may be fired? I’ve worked there for 10 years and was out only one other time and that was 5 years ago.

Asked on June 7, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is NO general obligation for employers to provide employees with any time off for medical needs or surgery; an employer can generally fire employees who do not show up to work for any reason. That said, federal law, the Family and Medical Leave Act, protects the rights of full-time employees with at least one year of service to take up to 12 weeks off of unpaid leave for medical care (for themselves or family members), IF their employer is covered. Only businesses with at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius are covered, however. To see the FMLA's provisions in detail, go to the federal dept. of labor's website. If the FMLA does not apply to you, you may have no recourse--the employer may be able to fire you for taking time off--unless either there is some employment agreement or contract guarantying you the time, or you can show that other employees were allowed time and you are being discriminated against because of your race, sex, religion, age over 40, or disability.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption