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Employment Law/Medical leave and insurance


I am out on medical leave due to a surgery 5 months ago that didn't heal properly. My wound doctor has advised that I need to be off of work to properly heal with my wound vac that has been put on me by home health care per the order of my wound doctor. I work for a small private doctors office and the office manager is threating to take away my insurance if I don't come back full time. I have been off for 2 1/2 weeks with doctors orders. There is a possiblity I may be readmitted to the hospital due to my infection and/or another surgery because I am not healing. Can my employer legally take away my insurance while I am on medical leave? What kind of medical leave do I have to be on to insure I am doing everything legally and properly? Thanks. I am desperate.

JoAnn - Unless your office employs at least fifty people, you are not covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  You did not list your state of residence/employment, so I am not able to tell you whether you have any rights under your state law.  There is no law that requires employers to pay for medical benefits, and nothing requires them to continue benefits for employees out on leave if they are not covered by the federal FMLA.  The majority of states have rules that match the federal rules, although some impose their laws on smaller companies than the FMLA.  You may have to work with your doctor to figure out how to continue working while doing everything else possible to promote your healing.

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Margaret M. deMarteleire


I can answer most questions about employment law, federal or state. I am an attorney, not an HR professional, so questions about HR careers, coursework, prospects, etc. are not within my scope.


Attorney for 20 years, currently working exclusively with employment law - FLSA, FMLA, federal contracts, pay, etc.

Temple University School of Liberal Arts, BA, Rhetoric & Communication, 1982 Temple University School of Law, JD, 1990 Certificate in HR, Cornell University ILR School, 2006

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