Michael was recently diagnosed with cancer and faces major surgery that will keep him off work for roughly six weeks. The surgery will be followed by chemotherapy, which may mean he is unable to work full-time. How will both the surgery and chemotherapy be covered?

Michael's illness fits the definition of a serious health condition under the FMLA and OFLA because it involves hospital care, lengthy absence, and treatment for a chronic condition (See question 6). He would use FMLA and OFLA for the six-week period he is off having major surgery. For the chemotherapy, he may use the remaining six weeks intermittently or by working part-time (See question 15).

Let's assume Michael has 4 weeks of sick leave and 3 weeks of vacation. Because Michael is a classified employee, he must use all his paid leave before taking leave without pay (See question 17).  He would use the six weeks of accrued leave for his surgery and use the remaining week for his intermittent leave or reduced hours. In addition, he will also accrue sick and vacation leave during this time.

Michael might also be eligible for hardship leave as described in Article 41, Section 8 of the SEIU collective bargaining agreement. It provides a mechanism for classified employees to donate vacation to other classified employees who face a significant health problem.