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If You Have a Health Condition, You Are Entitled to Time Off

April 29, 2022 Americans with Disabilities Act Claims

Your Rights in the Workplace Under the FMLA and ADA

If you have a health condition, you are entitled to time off from work under several laws, including the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Both of these laws are designed to help employees manage health issues while continuing to maintain their employment. Here’s how they work.

Your Rights to Medical Leave Under the FMLA 

The FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to eligible employees for reasons that include the following:

  • The birth or adoption of a baby (for both men and women).
  • Recovery from pregnancy complications.
  • Caring for an immediate family member, such as a spouse, parent, or child, with a serious health problem.
  • Dealing with your own serious health condition that impedes your ability to work.
  • Any qualifying issues arising out of having an immediate family member in the military.

In addition, employees can take up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave during a single period of 12 months to care for a family member in the military with a serious illness or injury.

Not everyone is eligible for leave under the FMLA. Generally, you are eligible for leave if you’ve worked for your employer for at least 1,250 hours over the past year, and work at a site where the company employs at least 50 people within a 75-mile radius. 

The leave is unpaid, but it is job-protected—meaning that when you return, you are entitled to return to a job with equivalent duties, at an equivalent level and salary.

Your Rights to Medical Leave Under the ADA 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) also provides leave to employees with a medical condition. Employees who use up all their FMLA leave or who aren’t eligible for leave under that law may be eligible for leave under the ADA.

Employees with a physical or mental disability have the right to reasonable accommodations from their employer. One of those accommodations is time off due to their condition.

There is no proscribed amount of leave that an employer must provide. It depends on each individual employee’s needs. The leave could take the form of a certain number of afternoons off per month to get treatment for a health condition, ongoing leave to recover from a surgery, or other arrangements that help the employee accommodate their condition.

Employers must offer leave from work as a reasonable accommodation unless it would cause undue hardship to do so. “Undue hardship” isn’t specifically defined; it depends on the employer’s resources and how much the granted leave would interfere with its ability to operate.

Is Your Employer Refusing Leave You’re Owed?

If you believe your employer is refusing to let you have leave that you are entitled to under the law, you should speak with a knowledgeable Philadelphia employment lawyer. Call us at 267-273-1054 or email us at for a free, confidential consultation today.

The information provided here does not constitute legal advice. It is intended for general purposes only. If you have questions about a specific legal issue, you should speak to an attorney.