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What Is the Family & Medical Leave Act?

What Is the Family & Medical Leave Act?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that allows certain employees to have up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave each year, without the threat of job loss. The act also directs employers covered under the law to maintain health benefits for eligible workers as though they were working.

Who Does FMLA Apply to?

Employers that reach the minimum requirements under the law have to comply FMLA guidelines. Public agencies must adhere to FMLA regulations, this includes State, Federal, local employers, and schools. FMLA applies to private employers who have 50 or more employees working at least 20 workweeks during the year.

Am I Eligible for FMLA?

Again, only certain employers are covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act. You will need to work for an eligible employer for at least 12 months, and have logged at least 1,250 hours to benefit from FMLA. Your job also has to be at a location, or within 75 miles of a location, where at least 50 employees work.

Situations Covered Under FMLA

  • An employee is unable to work due to a serious medical condition
  • An employee has to provide care for an immediate family member with a serious medical condition
  • The birth of an employee’s child
  • Having to place or care for an adopted or foster care child
  • An employee's spouse, child, or parent is on active duty or has been called to active duty for the National Guard or Reserve in support of a military operation

However there are stipulations to what is covered under FMLA. For example, if your wife’s father becomes severely ill, you can’t use FMLA to take time off work. Instead, your wife would need to take a leave from work under applicable FMLA guidelines. Additionally, FMLA only covers care for children over the age of 18 if they are incapable of self-care due to a serious disability.

Will I Still Be Paid During My FMLA Leave?

There is no guarantee for paid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Instead, employees can choose to use the paid time that they have accrued. Employers can also elect to have the employee use paid leave, as long as they have provided the employee with sufficient notification.

In addition these stipulations, an employer can cut your leave short if you fail to provide medical proof of the condition or event that you are taking leave for. However, if you have given your employer the proper documentation, they cannot end your leave early.

Do you have more questions about whether or not you are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act? Contact our Hollister employment law attorney today to discuss your case further.

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