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Do you qualify for leave under the FMLA?

Some circumstances in life are unavoidable. You may have an immediate loved one who is ill and needs you to take care of him or her, or you may live with a difficult medical condition yourself. In either case, it is difficult for you to go to work every day and handle the complications that your or your loved one's medical needs can present.

Of course, you may worry that, if you miss too much work, you will lose your job, which you desperately need to handle your financial affairs. Fortunately, you may qualify for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

How do you know if you qualify?

It is important to note that it is not a requirement for all employers to provide leave under the FMLA. However, if you work for a company that has 50 or more employees, your employer more than likely must comply with the law of offering leave to eligible employees. To know if you may be eligible for leave, you may need to meet the following criteria:

  • You have worked for your current employer for at least 12 months but not necessarily 12 consecutive months.
  • You must have worked at least 1,250 hours within that 12-month timespan. 
  • You must work at a location at which your employer has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile range. 

If you meet these stipulations, you may have FMLA coverage. However, in order to actually take leave, you must meet additional qualifications.

Qualifying health conditions

If you have a serious health condition, or have a spouse, parent or child with a serious health condition, you may be able to take leave under the following circumstances:

  • Your condition or your loved one's condition requires an overnight stay at a medical facility. 
  • The condition can cause occasional periods of incapacitation and lead to treatments from healthcare providers at least twice a year.
  • A condition requires ongoing medical attention due to incapacitation of more than three days.
  • You are pregnant.

The idea of qualifying for leave may bring a sense of relief to you. However, even if you qualify, your employer may deny you your right to leave. If this happens, you may think you have no other options. Fortunately, you likely have legal options to consider. If your California employer violates the FMLA, filing a legal claim could help rectify the situation.

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