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When am I entitled to family and medical leave?

In 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act was put into place as a way to help employees balance the demands of their workplace with the medical needs of their families. This act provides that you are entitled to take a period of time off from work if you or a family member have a serious health condition and that you may do so without the fear of losing your job.

There are several stipulations involved in taking this time off. As an example, you are only entitled to take up to 12 weeks off. In most cases, the time you are away is considered unpaid leave. In the state of California, however, there is also the California Family Rights Act, which states that if an employee is eligible, he or she may be paid by his or her employer through any accumulated paid leave or accrued vacation time that is not considered accrued sick leave.

Although you are employed and working, it is important to realize that there are exceptions as to whether you are actually eligible for extended leave provided under the FMLA. First, you must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months before requesting a leave. You must also have worked for at least 1250 hours during the previous 12 months. This means that if you typically work an eight-hour day for your employer, you need to have worked approximately 156 days to be eligible.

Individuals who have been denied time off for family leave may find it beneficial to seek counsel with a California attorney who is experienced with Family and Medical Leave issues.

Source: U.S. News Money, "6 Things You Need to Know About the Family and Medical Leave Act" Jada A Graves, Feb. 09, 2015

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