What Is The Family And Medical Leave Act?
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a one-year period. It also requires employers to maintain group health benefits for employees during that time.
The FMLA helps employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. This includes leave for:
- The birth of a child
- The adoption of a child
- The serious health condition of a child, spouse, parent or the employee
It also seeks to accommodate the legitimate interests of employers and promotes equal employment opportunity for men and women.
If you were denied a valid request for job-protected medical leave or if you are unsure whether you qualify for FMLA leave, you should contact Bononi Law Group, LLP, immediately to schedule a consultation.
The FLMA does not apply to all employers. We can answer your questions about your rights under the FMLA and advise you as to whether your employer is exempt under the law.
Requesting Job-Protected Family Or Medical Leave Under The FMLA
The FMLA entitles employees to:
- Family leave or medical leave
- Continued health benefits under an employer or group insurance plan, although the employee typically will be charged for this coverage
- Return to work when the family leave or medical leave ends
The act provides job protection for eligible employees who require medical leave or family leave, but an employee must follow established procedures for requesting job-protected leave under the act.
FMLA Notice Requirements
According to the Department of Labor, employees must meet notice requirements under the statute and must certify the need for leave:
- If you know ahead of time that you will need FMLA leave, the act allows your employer to require a 30-day notice period.
- If you do not know that you will need FMLA leave more than 30 days before the date you intend to take it, you should notify your employer "as soon as practicable." This is usually at least a day or two.
- If an emergency arises and you are not able to provide notice, you typically must tell your employer within two days of returning to work that you want to use FMLA leave time.
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) requires employers to count time spent in service, even though not technically working for a current employer, to count toward determining eligibility for family leave or medical leave under the FMLA.
State Family And Medical Leave Laws
Several states have also enacted family and medical leave laws, some of which provide greater amounts of leave and benefits than those provided by the FMLA and/or provide benefits to employees who are not eligible for FMLA leave.
In those situations where an employee is covered by both federal and state FMLA laws, the employee is entitled to the greater benefit or more generous rights provided under the different parts of each law. Some employees may also be entitled to protections provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which is administered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Questions About Requesting Leave Under The FMLA? Contact Us.
We will aggressively protect your interests under state and federal employment laws. Please contact us for a consultation.
Depending on the individual circumstances of the case, certain employees may also be entitled to protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).