How To Ask About Taking Off Work For Surgery

There are several steps to ask about taking off of work for a surgery. Before taking a leave of absence, you need to carefully follow a few steps to ensure a smooth time-off process. Prior to scheduling your procedure, you need to speak with your employer to determine your best course of action. Your employer can assist you through the process of scheduling time off, covering your traditional duties, roles, and responsibilities, as well as maintaining your personal privacy. By taking the proper precautions you can effectively take the stress out of taking off. Read on to learn about how to ask about taking off work for surgery.

Understand Your Legal Rights

Before you can foster a conversation with your boss, you need to understand your legal rights. Qualified employees receive twelve weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave every year under the Family Medical Leave Act, or FMLA. However, not all employers are covered by the FMLA. Even if your employer has the sufficient FMLA protection, you additionally need to meet several specific qualifications as an employee. To be eligible, you must have worked for your employer for a minimum of twelve months. Within the past year of work, you must have worked at least 1,250 hours. While nearly all surgeries are covered by the Family Medical Leave Act, you should additionally ensure that your specific health condition is protected under this legal act. If you are still confused on your legal rights and eligibility, you should consult an attorney for employment law advice on sick leave.

Determine What You Need

Prior to requesting time-off work, you need to determine what you need. Consider the seriousness of your operation and recovery process to determine how long you will need off of work. Plan out why you will need off, how much time you need, and when is the earliest that you will be able to return to normal work. Speak with your doctor, physical therapist, and other trusted healthcare professionals to accurately gauge your recovery process. For minimally invasive procedures like bunion surgeries, you will not require as much time off, or as many accommodations. Instead, for these procedures the most difficult part of your recovery process will likely be from sleeping after bunion surgery. At the same time, you will need to determine if you will require any additional accommodations when you return to work. After surgery for a major injury, you may face specific lifting restrictions, limited mobility, or extreme fatigue.

Plan On What To Say

After planning your individual needs, you need to plan on what to say about your absence and health. Remember that you are not required to disclose any specific details about your diagnosis, procedure, or recovery process to your employer and coworkers. It is fairly common for employees to disclose details about routine procedures, such as knee, back, shoulder, or joint surgery. However, you may want to keep information regarding serious or intimate medical conditions and operations more private. Before requesting time off, plan out what you will say and how you will respond to questions when asked about your upcoming procedure.

Foster An Early Conversation

Once you have planned out what to say, you need to foster an early conversation with your employer and HR department. Waiting until the very last minute to inform your employer is extremely unprofessional and will likely not go over well. Providing advance notice allows your employer to find coverage while you are gone. Follow the chain of command in your workplace, speaking first with your immediate supervisor. Then, you can speak with your benefits team and Human Resources manager. Speaking with these professionals, be sure to disclose what your expectations are before you take medical leave and ask what your options are. Many companies will provide a part time schedule, flexible hours, or work from home options as you transition back to work. Foster an early conversation in order to ask about taking time off for your upcoming procedure.

Develop An Agreeable Plan

To finalize your professional agreement, you need to develop a fair plan with your employer. Every medical condition and procedure is incredibly unique. To sufficiently plan and protect yourself, you will need to develop a solution that meets both you and your employees needs. Be sure to additionally plan a course of action if you need more time off than you originally thought. In many cases, surgeries are more intense, recovery processes are longer, and physical therapy progresses slower than you first predicted. If this occurs, you need to easily be able to keep your employer updated, and inform them that you need more time.

There are several steps to ask about taking off work for surgery. First, you need to understand your legal rights. Then, determine what you need. Next, you need to plan on what to say about your absence and health. Then, you need to foster an early conversation with your employer and human resources department. Finally, you need to develop a fair plan with your employer. Follow the steps outline above to learn about how to ask about taking off work for surgery.

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