Can my employer deny me time off for surgery?

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.


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