If I had to take off of work for 3 months for a heart operation, what can I do to get all of my hours back?

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If I had to take off of work for 3 months for a heart operation, what can I do to get all of my hours back?

I worked for 5 years as a security officer. I worked the 2nd shift to 11 pm. Then 7 months ago, I had an operation on my heart. I informed my employer that I would be willing to come back to work. About 3 months later I gave my supervisor a letter that was requested of me from my doctor. I was thought I would get my old hours back but they informed me that they hired more people for my job and they would give me as much time as they could. I have only worked for about 32 hours as of today.

Asked on June 14, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Your employer is not obligated to give you your old  hours back, or as many hours as you used to have, unfortunately, unless and only to the extent that you had a written employment contract guarantying or specifying your hours. Your employer is allowed to hire new/more people to cover your job while you are out--they don't have suffer or be unable to get the work done due to your medical condition--and do not have to return to the exact same hours or shift(s).  There is an exception if you specifically took Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, in which case while they still don't have to give you the *same* job/shift back, they do need to give a comparable one (e.g. more or less same pay). However, you would have had to specifically apply for FMLA leave *before* taking the leave and have met its qualifications; you can't do it retroactively or after the fact.


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