Transitioning back to work after FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) leave can be a significant adjustment. It can be a complicated process for both employees and employers. Here are some tips to help make the process smoother:
What You Should Do Before FMLA Leave:
- Understand your rights: Familiarize yourself with the FMLA regulations and your company’s policies regarding leave. Ensure you are aware of your benefits and the process for requesting and taking leave.
- Communicate early: If you know you’ll need to take FMLA leave, inform your employer as soon as possible. Provide the required documentation and adhere to the company’s notification procedures.
- Plan ahead: Work with your employer to develop a plan for handling your workload during your absence.
How to Proceed During Your Leave:
- Focus on recovery: Use your FMLA leave to focus on your health and well-being. Do not perform work. In fact, your employer cannot require you to perform work while you are on FMLA leave.
- Stay organized: Keep track of important documents related to your leave. These documents might include medical records, communications with your employer, and any required paperwork.
- Utilize resources: Become familiar with any benefits or support services provided by your employer.
Things to Consider Before Returning to Work after Medical Leave:
- Communicate your return date: Inform your employer of your planned return date well in advance. Timely communication allows your employer to prepare for your return and arrange any necessary accommodations.
- Discuss a transition plan: Before you return after taking FMLA, have a chat with your employer. Discuss with your employer how you should handle your return to work. This may include easing back into your responsibilities or receiving additional training if needed.
- Request workplace accommodations: Your health condition may require specific accommodations. Make a formal request to your employer as soon as possible. Your employer has an obligation to engage in an interactive process to explore reasonable accommodations.
- Seek support: Reach out to HR, supervisors, or Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). Be communicative if you encounter challenges or need assistance during the transition process.
At Calciano Pierro, we specialize in guiding our clients through the intricate process of unpaid medical leave. You can use FMLA time for serious medical reasons for you or your close family members. Contact us today to learn how to appropriately request time off from work and what you should expect upon return.