Returning to work after taking leave under the California Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can be an adjustment for both employees and their employers. The FMLA provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for certain family or medical reasons, such as caring for a newborn or a family member with a serious health condition. While the FMLA provides job protection and continuation of health insurance during the leave period, the transition back to work can still pose challenges. Here are some tips for employees and employers to smooth the process of returning to work after FMLA leave.
Communicate with your employer before returning to work. Give your employer advance notice of your planned return date and ask if there are any updates or changes to your job duties or responsibilities.
Review any policy updates or changes that may have occurred while you were on leave. Policies related to attendance, performance expectations, and workplace conduct may have been updated during your absence, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with any changes.
Consider a phased return to work. If your employer is open to it, consider returning to work on a part-time or reduced schedule initially, to give yourself time to readjust and catch up on any work that may have been missed.
Be patient with yourself. Returning to work after a leave can be overwhelming and stressful, especially if you are returning to a fast-paced work environment. Give yourself time to adjust and don’t be too hard on yourself if you need extra support during this transition.
Communicate with the employee before their return to work. Touch base with the employee before their return date to review any updates or changes to their job duties or responsibilities, and to offer support as needed.
Make sure the employee’s workspace is ready for their return. Ensure that their workspace is clean, organized, and equipped with any necessary tools or technology.
Consider a phased return to work. If the employee is open to it, consider allowing them to return on a part-time or reduced schedule initially, to help them readjust and catch up on any missed work.
Be patient and understanding. Returning to work after a leave can be a challenging transition for employees. Be patient and understanding, and offer support and resources as needed to help them ease back into their role.
It’s important for both employees and employers to keep in mind that the employee’s return to work after FMLA leave may not be seamless, and adjustments may need to be made along the way. Employers should be mindful of any accommodations or support that the employee may need during this transition, and work together with the employee to find solutions that work for everyone.
For example, an employee returning to work after caring for a family member with a serious health condition may need to adjust their work schedule or workload to accommodate ongoing caregiving responsibilities. Employers may need to be flexible and open to these types of requests to help the employee balance their work and family responsibilities.
Employees should be aware that returning to work after a leave may be a time for reflection and reassessment of their career goals and priorities. It’s important to communicate openly with your employer if you are considering a change in career direction or need additional support to achieve your career goals.
At The Myers Law Group, APC, we are dedicated to helping employees navigate the complexities of returning to work after taking FMLA leave. Our team of experienced attorneys can provide legal advice, guidance, and representation to help employees protect their rights and ensure a successful return to work.
We understand that returning to work after taking FMLA leave can be a challenging transition for employees, and we are committed to providing advocacy and support to help employees succeed. We can negotiate with employers on behalf of our clients to secure reasonable accommodations or other support they may need when returning to work after taking FMLA leave.
At The Myers Law Group, APC, we are passionate about advocating for employees’ rights and providing the resources and support they need to navigate complex employment law matters. If you are facing challenges related to returning to work after taking FMLA leave, we are here to help.