In a time when many people are faced with the challenge of caring for family members who may need hours of daily attention for weeks or months—or who may be unable to work themselves– we get many questions about medical leave. There are specific laws that determine whether or not an individual is eligible for leave from a job without losing employment.
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible people to take leave from a job for up to 12 weeks for a serious medical condition. This can be continuous, or it can be used for shorter, intermittent periods of time.
For example, an employee may take leave to care for a family member, or an employee may take leave to recover from their own surgery.
How do you know if you’re eligible? Here are the basics of the law:
The FMLA covers private employers with at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius of where the employee seeking leave works. The FMLA covers governmental employees regardless of the number of employees
Reasons for taking leave under FMLA include:
- To care for your own serious health condition;
- For the birth and care of a newborn child;
- For the adoption by the employee or foster placement of a child with the employee;
- To care for an immediate family member’s serious health condition;
- To care for an injured or seriously ill military service member or veteran. NOTE: for military service member care, leave can be extended for as much as 26 weeks.
This can cover a pretty broad spectrum of employees. But there are requirements for minimum work in the months or years leading up to the time of the leave request.
FMLA leave typically requires that an employee must have been employed by the company for at least 12 months and worked for at least 1,250 hours (excluding vacation and sick leave) during the 12-month period immediately preceding the leave request.
There is a formal process that’s involved with a leave request. If you want to know if you or a family member would be eligible for leave, or if you think you have been improperly denied leave, then Gardner Law Firm may be able to help.
Gardner Law Firm has worked with many people to help evaluate their eligibility for FMLAl leave. To learn more about your particular situation, schedule a consultation with us. We’ll evaluate your situation and explain your options in detail. If needed, we will also represent you with your employer.
To schedule, click here.