How long do I have to hold a job for an employee on medical leave?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How long do I have to hold a job for an employee on medical leave?

The employee had a stroke but we need to fill the position. It has been almost 4months.

Asked on April 10, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If your company is subject to the Family Medical and Leave Act (FMLA) or Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you must adhere to their guidelines. Under the FMLA, a worker is entitled to take up to 12 weeks of leave every 12 months for a serious health condition, and to be reinstated to either the same or an equivalent position upon their return. To be eligible for this type of leave, they must have worked for you for at least a year (not necessarily all at once), have worked 1250 hours in the past 12 months, and you must employ 50 employees within a 75 mile radius of the work place (or from the headquarters into which they report if they work from home.) If theirr condition meets the definition of "disability" under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), they may be entitled to more than 12 weeks of medical leave if their request for leave is reasonable and you  cannot show that theirr leave presents an "undue hardship" to your business operations. Whether leave is "reasonable" or constitutes an "undue hardship" will depend upon specific circumstances such as: the length of leave requested, whether you grants leave of that length for other reasons, the nature of their position, etc. That having been said, if  neither the ADA or the FMLA apply, you can terminate the employee not withstanding any employment contract or union agreement to the contrary and so long as the worker has no more available PTO. To be certain of your rights, you should consult diretly with a local empoyment law attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption