Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The FMLA is a federal law that provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. Employees are eligible if they have worked at least 1,250 hours over a period of at least 12 months. The FMLA applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees. Leave under the FMLA can be for any of the following reasons:
- The birth and care of a newborn child;
- To care for an adopted child or foster child;
- To care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition; or
- To take medical leave for a personal serious health condition
The FMLA was amended in 2015 so that eligible employees in legal same-sex marriages would be able to take leave to care for their spouse or family member, regardless of where they live.
Another amendment under the FMLA allows an eligible employee to take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a service member with a serious injury or illness, if the employee is the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin of the service member.
What About my Health Insurance?
While employees are on FMLA leave, their employers must continue their health insurance coverage!
How Do I Request Leave?
Employees generally must request leave 30 days in advance when the need is foreseeable. If it is not possible to give 30 days’ notice, employees should notify their employer as soon as possible. Employees also need to follow their employer’s requirements for requesting leave.
While employees are not required to share a medical diagnosis, employees must provide enough information for their employer to reasonably determine whether the FMLA applies.
An employee does need to use all the leave at one time. Employees may take leave intermittently or on a reduced schedule.
My Employer Denied my Leave Request
If your employer denies you leave under the FMLA, it must provide a reason for your ineligibility.
If you believe your employer has not complied with the FMLA, contact us for a confidential evaluation of your situation.