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What employees should know about FMLA

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Employment Law |

The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal law that provides eligible employees with job-protected leave for specific family and medical reasons.

Knowing the details of FMLA can empower employees to make informed decisions about their health and family needs.

Eligibility requirements

To qualify for FMLA, employees need to work for a covered employer. These employers may include private-sector businesses with 50 or more employees, public agencies and public or private elementary or secondary schools.

Additionally, employees must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and clocked in at least 1,250 hours during the previous year.

Covered reasons for leave

FMLA allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave within 12 months for various reasons, including the birth and care of a newborn child and caring for an immediate family member with a serious health condition. Employees may take leave to address serious health condition that prevents them from performing important job functions.

Families with deployed family members in the military experience unique challenges during their adjustment periods, such as scheduling and childcare difficulties. In addition, families can take leave to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness.

Job protection and benefits continuation

One of the primary benefits of FMLA is job protection. When employees return from FMLA leave, they should receive their original position or an equivalent one with equivalent pay, benefits and other employment terms. Additionally, during FMLA leave, employers need to continue providing group health insurance benefits on the same terms as if the employee had continued working.

Employees can take FMLA leave intermittently or on a reduced schedule when medically necessary. This flexibility allows employees to attend medical appointments or address family needs without taking full days off or worrying about their employment.

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