Be the Boss Over Cancer

I had my left eye removed due to melanoma cancer in 2005. I was laid off from work in 2006, worked from 8/2008 to 9/2009 and have been unemployed since. I am still being followed by several doctors and need tests at least once a year to make sure the melanoma is nowhere to be found.

1) I believe employers have to give time off for "well" medical tests by law but not sure whether this is in addition to vacation/PTO. Must I use vacation time for these appointments? If the company gives PTO, how do I get more of it to cover vacation and medical appointments/test?

2) When in the interview process do I bring this up? My mind says I should wait for an offer and then negotiate it but why should I give up something else since time off for medical appointments and vacation is, I believe, a legal right?

Thanks.

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  • Judi Swedek

    Judi Swedek on Mar 22, 2011

    Career Coach Comment:

    Hi Nancy...


    Thank you for your post and questions. In terms of time off for medical visits, I'd like to answer the last question first...wait until the offer to bring up anything about time off or anything else you wish to negotiate. I never bring this up during the interview process as companies seem to have more flexibility and liklihood to "negotiate" once they want you.


    With that said, companies have different policies when it comes to time off for medical visits...some allow employees to "make up" the time if it's only a few hours; others require employees to take PTO or sick time. It depends on the company and the culture of the organization. When you're interviewing, you can gain a sense of the culture from the people you interview with as well as the company literature and website. If a company is considered a good place to work or family friendly, it is likely to be more flexible.


    With that said, it also depends, in part, on the person you work for. I tend to be more flexible  when it comes to time off for medical appointments and emergencies, but that's only when I have gotten to work with someone for a bit and know their work ethic. Again, when interviewing, ask questions of your potential manager that might uncover how flexible that person is.


    I hope this helps as you think about your options and explore opportunities. Trust your instincts and do your homework about the company and the people, and you will make the right decsion. My wish for you is that you find the perfect opportunity where you are valued and cherished...everything else will follow.


    Warmest wishes, Judi

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