FMLA and Hysterectomy | Part 1

Generally speaking, if your employer has 50 or more full-time employees, or if it fits the definition of a “public agency” (generally a governmental agency), you are covered by the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993. The Act entitles you to a total of 12 workweeks of leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following:

  • Because of the birth of a son or daughter of the employee and in order to care for such son or daughter.
  • Because of the placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care.
  • In order to care for the spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent, of the employee, if such spouse, son, daughter, or parent has a serious health condition.
  • Because of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the position of such employee.

Note: The remainder of this article will address only the fourth reason above — a serious health condition of the employee — since that is what applies in the case of a hysterectomy or other necessary health treatments for related disorders.

This leave may be paid or unpaid. You or your employer has the option to substitute paid leave (accrued vacation or sick time, for instance) for any or all of your leave. In other words, you do not necessarily have the option of choosing unpaid leave if you have accrued vacation or sick time remaining.

Requirement of notice

Duties of employee

In any case in which the necessity for leave foreseeable (in other words, non-emergency in nature), the employee—

  • Shall make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment so as not to disrupt unduly the operations of the employer, subject to the approval of the health care provider of the employee or the health care provider of the son, daughter, spouse, or parent of the employee, as appropriate; and
  • Shall provide the employer with not less than 30 days’ notice, before the date the leave is to begin, of the employee’s intention to take leave, except that if the date of the treatment requires leave to begin in less than 30 days, the employee shall provide such notice as is practicable.

This means that if your leave is not an emergency, you are expected to work with your employer on timing. It is reasonable, for example, that an accounting firm might want a tax accountant to reschedule a surgery planned for early April if it’s not an emergency.

Please read Part 2 for the remainder of the article.

This content was written by staff of by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: FMLA and Hysterectomy | Part 1


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