The Family Medical Leave Act is a federal law requiring that companies provide up to 12 weeks of leave to “eligible” employees for every twelve month period that they are eligible. The leave may be for pregnancy and/or birth, adoption, caring for a family member, or to recuperate from a serious illness or injury suffered by the employee him or herself. Keep in mind that state laws regarding additional benefits or leave may vary.
Employees are eligible for FMLA if:
- Their employer has at least 50 employees;
- the employee has been employed for at least 12 months;
- the employee has worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months prior to the leave.
If you meet the criteria outlined above, then you are potentially eligible for:
- 12 weeks of unpaid leave when you are unable to work or must care for an immediate family member because of a serious (and properly documented) health condition,
- continuation of group health benefits,
- restoration to the same or an equivalent job upon return to work, with accrued benefits.
Your employer can require you to use all accrued unused vacation time and leave as part of the 12 weeks, thus making the relevant portion of the leave considered 'paid'. The leave can potentially be taken on intermittent increments, so long as it is reasonable, and the need is properly documented by your medical provider.
Find a qualified FMLA Lawyer to help ensure you get the leave you are entitled to.
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