March 24, 2015- Chesterfield, Va.
Chesterfield County announced that Administrator James J.L. “Jay” Stegmaier will be out on medical leave for several weeks due to undisclosed health issues. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Deputy County Administrator William D. Dupler will act in Stegmaier’s stead while he is out on leave.
Stegmaier, age 61, was diagnosed with cancer in his lymph system at age 20 and was given five years to live. However, with surgery and radiation, Stegmaier recovered and became county administrator in 2007.
Stegmaier was interviewed by the Richmond Times-Dispatch in 1997. He described how fighting cancer helped shape his character and ability to face challenges.
Employees in Virginia facing health-related challenges are afforded certain protections under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA permits eligible employees to take unpaid leave to recuperate from serious health conditions. While many states have their own laws related to medical leave, Virginia does not. Therefore, Virginia employees have only the rights guaranteed by the FMLA.
To be eligible for FMLA leave, employees must work for the company for at least a year, work at least 1,250 hours during the previous year and work at a location with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.
FMLA leave is not limited to time off related to medical conditions – eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period to care for a family member, bond with a new child or handle qualifying exigencies arising out of a family member’s military service. This leave renews every 12 months, as long as the employee remains eligible.
Additionally, FMLA entitles employees to continued health insurance while on leave, at the same cost paid while working. When an employee’s FMLA leave ends, that employee is entitled to reinstatement to the same or an equivalent position, with a few exceptions.
If you or a loved one has questions or concerns related to medical leave or the Family Medical Leave Act, contact the attorneys at ReidGoodwin today to schedule your free legal consultation.