What is FMLA?
Under the FMLA - or Family and Medical Leave Act - eligible employees are entitled to a period of unpaid leave for certain specific reasons. You cannot lose your job for any reason related to FMLA leave, and you are entitled to resume your position at your workplace after the period of unpaid leave is over.
FMLA provisions only cover employers who employ 50 or more employees, and they must have employed these 50+ employees for at least 20 weeks in a calendar year.
Under the FMLA, an eligible individual can take up to 12 weeks of leave within a given 12-month period. Under certain conditions, you may be eligible to take off up to 26 weeks in a 12-month period.
Who is eligible to take FMLA?
Are you wondering if you are eligible to take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act? First, check to make sure your employer meets the above conditions to be subject to the FMLA - i.e., they must have employed at least 50 employees over the course of at least 20 weeks in a rolling calendar year. If your employer is required to offer FMLA leave, you must meet some additional specific conditions.
First, you must have worked for your current employer for at least 12 months. You are not eligible to take leave under the FMLA until after that point. You must also have worked at least 1,250 hours during that previous 12 months.
Do you meet the criteria to take FMLA leave with your current employer? If so, check the following list of reasons for which you can take leave. You can take up to 12 weeks of leave within a 12-month period if:
- you are recovering from a serious health condition,
- you are caregiving for a family member with a serious health condition,
- you require time off to be with a new child (either newborn or an adopted child or a child placed in foster care with you), or
- you’re are handling certain demands due to a family member being active in military service.
You may be eligible for leave of up to 26 weeks if you have a family member who is suffering from a serious injury incurred while on active military service.
In order for a condition being experienced by you or a family member to qualify as a serious health condition, it must be an illness, injury, impairment, or other physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment. You or a family member may require inpatient care, be experiencing incapacity, have to be treated two or more times each month for the condition, have a continuing regimen of treatment, or suffer from a continuous or episodic chronic condition - among many other conditions, such as pregnancy.
Speak with an attorney who has employment law experience for more insight into whether your specific situation may qualify you for leave under the Family Medical and Leave Act.