Q. I was diagnosed with cancer three years ago and am still taking treatments. I have been working from home since March 22 because of COVID-19. Now my work is start to open again and this concerns me. I was wondering if the Family First Act will give me more time for paid FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act)?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19”. Depending on what state you live in and the re-opening guidelines set by your state governor, you may be eligible for additional paid leave.
However, the first step would be to contact your human resources representative to explore your current options. If you are considered to be immunocompromised due to the treatment you are receiving, you may be able to continue to telework instead of taking paid leave. Speaking with your human resource department would allow you to request reasonable accommodations, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Reasonable accommodations may include an extended time period in which you are able to work from home to reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Although there is not one direct answer to your question, I strongly suggest you advocate for yourself to your human resource department in order to find out what option may be best for you. If you have additional questions or would like to speak to an oncology social worker, please call our Hopeline at 800-813-4673.