If you have 50 or more employees, your staff qualifies for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the U.S.’s Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). When someone takes a protected leave, you know the steps to take — have the employee fill out the paperwork, grant the time off and make sure they understand that no work is required during the leave. When the doctor clears a return to work, you must welcome the tech back to the same (or a similar) position. Easy, right?
First, Be Kind
Even if you follow every step to a T, remember that the return to work can be difficult for anyone.
- If someone has been off for a prolonged period of time due to an illness, she still may not feel 100 percent even if the doctor has cleared her for work.
- A person who has been on FMLA to care for a new baby may be emotional about leaving the newborn with a sitter, and a new mom may have lingering health issues.
- If your employee took leave to care for a sick family member, she may be itching to get back to work, but still feeling emotionally drained from the stress of caring for someone full time. If that family member died, most likely she also will be coping with grief.
No matter what the circumstances, most people coming back from FMLA are going to need a bit more compassion, and a bit more leeway, than usual. Be kind.
To keep reading, click here: How to Smooth a Tech’s Return from Family Leave