Thank you very much for your followup question and your previous positive rating of my service.
If your physical aiments qualify as a "serious health condition" an individual in your circumstance may very well qualify to take FMLA protected leave.
In order to be “eligible” for FMLA, an employee must have worked for their employer for at least one year (as you state you have) and worked roughly 30 hours per week (on average) during that year. Only employers with at least 50 employees within 75 miles of the employee’s worksite are required to provide FMLA protections.
Where an eligible employee takes FMLA leave, an employer is prohibited from taking adverse employment action as a result of that employee's absence, if the employee returns on or before the expiration of the 12-week leave period.
Among other things, an employer can be sued for interfering with an employee’s FMLA leave, denying FMLA leave, refusing to reinstate an employee who timely returns from FMLA leave, requiring an employee to take more FMLA leave than the employee needs, or retaliating against an employee who takes FMLA leave. See here for more information: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/workhours/fmla.htm#.ULxK1YVOn-Y
It should be noted that while you may be eligible for FMLA leave, FMLA does not provide absolute, unequivocal job security, it simply prevents an employer from taking adverse employment action against you because of your absence
. An employer retains the right to terminate an employee who elects to take FMLA leave if they can demonstrate that the termination was for unrelated reasons. However, most employers will not terminate an employee while the employee is on FMLA because courts and juries closely scrutinize such terminations for improper motives.
In addition to FMLA, if you can demonstrate that your health conditions are job-related, you may be able to file for workers compensation, which would provide for partial wage replacement while you rehabilitated. However, employees out on workers comp do not enjoy any special job protection.
These would be the best options for an employee in your circumstance with regard to dealing with HR. Please let me know if I can provide any further clarification.