Family Medical Leave Act

The family medical leave act provides a select group of employees with an entitlement of 12 weeks’ worth of unpaid, job-protected leave per annum. It would be mandatory for these employees to maintain their group health benefits during this period.

Understanding the Family Medical Leave Act

The family medical leave act was put in place in order to encourage work-life balance in different work environments. Employees are given an opportunity to take unpaid family leave for specific medical or family reasons. The act also aims to fulfill the real interests of companies in promoting equal employment opportunities for both men and women. Employees who intend to apply for family leave are required to submit official documentation such as birth certificates, adoption letters, doctor’s letters, and others depending on the type of family or medical reasons provided.


Why Should You Hire Attorneys for Family Medical Leave Act Claims?

In a usual scenario, employees would not need to seek legal advice regarding the family medical leave act. However, an attorney would be able to help in a situation whereby an employee is deprived of the family leave that he/she has initially been entitled to. The same applies to employers who can simply follow the clauses stated in an employment contract. Nevertheless, an attorney can assist an employee applying for family leave to ensure there are no complications or any unwarranted denials.

Common FAQs about the Family Medical Leave Act

Under the FMLA, eligible employees are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year with a mandatory maintenance of group health benefits for family or medical reasons. It also applies to family members of select military employees who are entitled to 26 weeks of leave within a continuous 12-month period to care for a sick or injured service personnel who is covered.

The FMLA applies to local and state agencies, federal employers, and education institutions within the public sector. For private firms, the act applies to employers with 50 or more headcount who have been serving a minimum of 20 workweeks within the current or subsequent calendar year.

Those employees who wish to apply for leave under the FMLA need to fulfill below criteria:

  • Work for an employer that is covered
  • Worked for at least 1,250 hours within 12 months before the commencement of the leave
  • Work for an employer with at least 50 employees within an area of 75 miles
  • Worked for at least 12 months for the same company

No, other leaves or time-offs taken from work do not count towards the 1,250 hours.

The FMLA only includes unpaid leave, but it is under the discretion of employers should they require employees to first utilize their other forms of paid leaves before applying for leaves under the FMLA.

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