Returning to work after medical leave
After taking leave under the FMLA or CFRA, employees are guaranteed the same or a comparable position upon their return to work. If the same position is no longer available, an employer must offer a position comparable in pay, benefits, location, schedule, and working conditions, including privileges, fringe benefits and status, unless the employer can show no comparable position exists.
Fitness for Duty Certification
An employer CAN require a certification from your medical provider that states you are ready to return to work. But the employer cannot single you out with this request and treat you any differently than other employees — the policy must be uniformly applied to all employees. They must have had a certification policy in place, and they must have followed this policy when other employees returned from medical leave. If any of these conditions is not satisfied, an employer cannot require a certification.
Refusal to Reinstate
There are a few, limited situations in which an employer does not have to reinstate an employee. These situations include:
- An employee would have lost their job regardless of taking leave (such as when their department is eliminated).
- An employee cannot perform the essential functions of their job any longer (however, if this is the case, they may be able to request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act).
THE CONTENT FOUND HERE WAS CURRENT AT THE TIME OF WRITING (January 2021). LAWS AND LEGAL PROCEDURES ARE SUBJECT TO FREQUENT CHANGE AND DIFFERING INTERPRETATIONS. YOU SHOULD SEEK THE COUNSEL OF AN ATTORNEY TO RECEIVE LEGAL ADVICE SPECIFIC TO YOUR SITUATION.