Your Rights Under the Family & Medical Leave Act of 1993 FMLA requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for certain family and medical reasons. Employees are eligible if they have worked for their employer for at least one year, and for 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months, and if there are at least 50 employees within 75 miles. The
FMLA permits employees to take leave on an intermittent basis or to work a reduced schedule under certain circumstances.
Reasons for Taking Leave
Unpaid leave must be granted for any of the following reasons:
• to care for the employee’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care;
• to care for the employee’s spouse, son or daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition; or
• for a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job.
• An eligible employee who is a spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (the nearest blood relative) of a covered service member of the U.S. armed forces with
a serious injury or illness is entitled to a combined total of 26 workweeks of unpaid FMLA leave during a single 12-month period to care for that service member.
At the employee’s or employer’s option, certain kinds of paid leave may be substituted for unpaid leave.
Advance Notice and Medical Certification
The employee may be required to provide advance leave notice and medical certification. Taking of leave may be denied if requirements are not met.
• The employee ordinarily must provide 30 days advance notice when the leave is “foreseeable”.
• An employer may require medical certification to support a request for leave because of a serious health condition, and may require second or third opinions (at the employer’s expense) and a fitness for duty report to return to work.
Job Benefits and Protection
For the duration of FMLA leave, the employer must maintain the employee’s health coverage under any “group health plan.”• Upon return from FMLA leave, most employees must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits and other employment terms.
• The use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of an employee’s leave.
Last Modified on December 4, 2018