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Colorectal Cancer: In Treatment: At Work: Stages 0,I

If You Need To Take Hours, Days Or Weeks Off From Work

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If you need to take time off work because of your treatment or side effects, you may be entitled to the time under any of the following concepts:

  • As an employer based benefit such as sick time, vacation time or personal time.
  • As a matter of right under such laws as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which provides for unpaid time off and laws such as the Americans Disabilities Act under which the time may be considered to be an accommodation to which you are legally entitled (possibly with pay). 
  • The documents in "To Learn More" help you understand your various rights, and which it is better to call time off.

If you will need time off:

  • Look at benefits from your workplace and think about how to maximize your time off while minimizing disruption in your pay. (See How To Maximize Your Benefits If You Need Time Off For Health Reasons)
  • Check to see if your employer has forms to complete in order to take time off. If so, get the forms and see what you need to do to complete them. If the form needs input from your doctor, send it on to the doctor. Ask the doctor to return the form to you rather than the employer (so you can check it over). Give the doctor a deadline by when you need the completed form.
  • Talk with your boss about:
    • Working different hours, part time, or perhaps from home for all or at least part of the day. (For information about working at home, click here).
    • Sharing work with other people.
    • Passing work on to other people.
  • Make detailed lists of the work that will need to be done or followed up on, while you are not working. Include deadlines and contact information for the people involved.
  • Check to see if your employer or state required program provides short term disability income.
  • Learn about protections such as those provided by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family And Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
  • Think about where income will come from. Check for disability income from your employer, disability insurance, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or state disability income. (See "To Learn More.")

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