On February 20, 2013, Robin Roberts returned to Good Morning America after over four months of leave to recover from a bone marrow transplant. In 2012 she was diagnosed with myelodyspalstic syndrome (MDS), and when she returned one of many people she thanked was her employer. She stated that many people would not have a job to return to after taken the amount of leave she needed and that is true. If an employer provides the minimum under federal law, a veteran employee would get three months of leave in a twelve-month period. Additional leave could result in termination.
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, an employee employed for at least twelve months by an employer with at least 50 employees, is eligible for twelve months of unpaid leave for a serious health condition like cancer. Absent state law or company policy, after twelve weeks an employee could be discharged from employment.
Few states offer more leave that could begin after federal leave has been taken. So should state legislatures push for more? Just imagine the outrage had Robin Roberts been terminated from her position at ABC because she had not yet recovered from her transplant.