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What Is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

As an employee, you may wonder if your job is protected if you have to take a leave of absence for a family or medical purpose. Rightly so, as your work is your livelihood and you may also depend on your job for health insurance.

Read on to learn about how the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects eligible employees.

Family and Medical Leave Act

Employees who qualify are entitled to take unpaid, job-protected leave for a particular family or medical reason. Workers who are eligible for leave may not have their group health insurance coverage terminated and the policy will remain under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not gone on a leave of absence.

According to the FMLA, employees who qualify for leave have the right to:

  • A total of 12 workweeks of leave during a 12-month period for:
    • A child’s birth or to take care of a newborn child during the first year of birth;
    • An employee’s placement of a child for adoption or foster care and to provide care for the newly placed child during the first year of placement;
    • For providing care to the employee’s spouse, child, or parent with a severe health condition;
    • A severe health ailment that prevents the employee from conducting the non-negotiable elements of his or her job;
    • Another qualifying crisis that comes about as a result of the worker’s spouse, child, or parent being a covered member of the military on “covered active duty;” or
  • A total of 26 workweeks of leave throughout a 12-month period to administer treatment for a covered servicemember who has a severe injury or illness so long as the qualifying employee is the servicemember’s:
    • Spouse
    • Son
    • Daughter
    • Parent
    • Next of kin

FMLA Applies to Certain Types of Businesses

The FMLA applies to particular types of businesses/employers, including all:

  • Public agencies, including:
    • Local
    • State
    • Federal
    • Local education agencies (schools); and
  • Private sector businesses with 50 or more employees during no less than 20 workweeks throughout the current or preceding calendar year—including joint employers and the heirs of covered employers.

Employee Eligibility for FMLA Leave

To qualify for a leave of absence under the FMLA, employees are required to:

  • Conduct work for a covered employer;
  • Have clocked 1,250 working hours throughout the 12 months before the leave is expected to begin;
  • Work in a region where the business employs 50 or more people within 75 miles; and
  • Have been an employee of the business for at least one year.
    • It is not necessary for an employee to have worked for the company for 12 consecutive months in order to be eligible for FMLA leave.

What Is Considered a Serious Health Condition

Under the FMLA, the most common serious health conditions that are typically eligible for FMLA leave include:

  • Ailments that require an overnight stay in a hospital or another medical treatment facility;
  • Illnesses or injuries that disable an employee or a worker’s family member for over three consecutive days and require ongoing medical care;
  • Chronic ailments that prompt occasional intervals when a worker or a worker’s family member is incapacitated and needs care from a medical provider no less than twice per year; and
  • Pregnancy.

We’re Here to Help Employees Who Have Had Their Rights Violated

As a worker, it is never okay for your employer to violate your rights. There are certain rights you are entitled to as an employee, and it is unacceptable for your employer to take advantage of those rights.

If you believe your employer has violated your rights as an employee, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team right away to learn more about how we can help you through this difficult situation. We have helped many others in similar situations and we want to do everything we can to help you too.

Contact our team of skilled attorneys today with the details of your case by calling (800) 543-4829 or by filling out the online contact form.

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