During treatments for cancer, how much time legally can I take off from work? Where can I find more information about this?

Expert Answers

CLRC (Organization (Verified) ) - 05 / 08 / 2012

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that allows certain employees to take up to twelve workweeks of leave to care for a serious health condition. In addition, the law allows for caregivers to take time off work to support a child, parent, or spouse with a serious health condition. Though it applies to all state, local, and federal employers, in order to be eligible in the private context, employees have to work for a “qualified employer”, meaning that their employer has 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius of the employee’s worksite. In addition, the employee needs to be a “qualified employee”, meaning that they have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and have worked for at least 1,250 hours during that 12 month period.

If you have any questions, you can contact the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, which oversees enforcement of the FMLA:http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/benefits-leave/fmla.htm

There are also a number of states that may provide similar or additional protections at the state law level. For a complete list of which states offer these types of protections, go to:http://www.dol.gov/whd/state/fmla/index.htm

Finally, it’s really important to keep in mind that these federal and state laws are just the baseline—a private employer may provide additional benefits such as extended short-term disability or additional leave provisions. Look to your employee manual or speak to your human resources representative for more information!
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