The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage. The Code of Federal Regulations defines a serious health condition as “an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition” that involves inpatient care or “continuing treatment by a health care provider.”
FMLA qualifying conditions for an employee’s 12-week leave:
- Employee’s birth of a child. This applies to moms and dads. If mom and dad work at the same company it is a total of 12 weeks combined;
- Employee has recently adopted a child;
- Employee has become a foster parent to a child;
- Employee stands in loco parentis to a child (day-to-day care or financially supports child);
- Employee cares for a spouse with a serious health condition;
- Employee cares for a parent (not in-laws) with a serious health condition;
- Employee cares for a child under 18 or “incapable of self-care” if over 18 because of a serious health condition;
- Employee’s own serious health condition; and
- Qualifying exigency arising out of the fact a spouse, son, daughter, or parent of an employee is on covered active duty in the Armed Forces.
The FMLA allows twenty-six (26) work weeks of leave during a 12-month period for an employee who is a servicemember’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin. Under the law, an employee is allowed to care for that covered servicemember for his or her serious injury or illness.
The FMLA defines an employer as:
- a site that employs at least 50 employees;
- within a 75-mile radius; and
- for each working day in the 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year, plus all public agencies.
In order to be eligible for FMLA coverage, an employee must have:
- worked for the employer for at least 12 months;
- have worked at least 1250 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the date the leave is taken; and
- worked at a site where the employer employs at least 50 employees within 75 miles the day the employee gives notice to the employer of FMLA leave.
Employers can neither retaliate against you or interfere with your rights of leave under the FMLA. If you feel that your employer has violated your rights under the FMLA call Edwards & Edwards for a free consultation.