What is FMLA? FAQ on Family and Medical Leave Act

Family and medical leave act

FMLA or family and medical leave act is a federal law which provides the employees with a time off in certain situations referring to health concerns and beyond. One of the main definitions is:

FMLA guarantees certain employees up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave each year with no threat of job loss. FMLA also requires that employers covered by the law maintain the health benefits for eligible workers just as if they were working.”

FAQs about family and medical leave act

There are a set of questions which answers will help you on the way to understand the core of FMLA. So, let’s start!

Who can apply for FMLA?

The family medical leave act aims to support those employees who meet the requirements of the act. It acts for all public agencies including State, Federal, local employers, and schools. What refers to private employers, the act applies for those who have 50 or more employees.

Am I eligible for the act?

As an employee you become eligible for family medical leave act when:

  • You work for an employer who meets the hereinabove mentioned requirements
  • Have worked for an employer for 12 months minimum before taking the leave
  • You workmates are over 50 in number

When FMLA works?

There are certain situations which enable your rights as an employee under family and medical leave act. The main ones are:

  • Serious health concerns because of which the employee can not work
  • The immediate family member of the employee needs care in a serious medical condition
  • The employee delivered a baby and needs a maternity leave to care for a newborn
  • He needs to take paternity leave to help his wife who has just delivered a baby
  • The employee needs to take care of an adopted child

What is serious health condition?

Let’s just provide the clear definition of a“serious health condition”:

an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider. The “continuing treatment” test for a serious health condition under the regulations may be met

  • through a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive, full calendar days plus treatment by a health care provider twice, or once with a continuing regimen of treatment,
  • any period of incapacity related to pregnancy or for prenatal care,
  • any period of incapacity or treatment for a chronic serious health condition,
  • a period of incapacity for permanent or long-term conditions for which treatment may not be effective,
  • any period of incapacity to receive multiple treatments (including recovery from those treatments) for restorative surgery, or for a condition which would likely result in an incapacity of more than three consecutive, full calendar days absent medical treatment.”

Is the leave paid?

Actually, there is no guarantee for the paid leave. Though, you should be aware that the employer doesn’t quit paying your health benefits while you are off. But there are only 4 states where the leave is paid. In other states, the leave is mainly unpaid.

Your employer denied your leave? What to do?

If your employer meets the demands of FMLA and at the same time you are an eligible employee, he/she can not decline your request to take a leave. If such thing happens and you can not find a solution, find support with a corresponding attorney.

Can I lose my job?

No! Nevertheless, some exceptional cases exist. For example, after returning back to work you may find your position acquired by another employee, or the employer may fire you… Before leaving, make sure that you won’t find yourself in an unexpected situation after return.

Who is the un-eligible worker?

The employer has all rights under family and medical leave act to reject the request for leave if the employee is a part-time worker, he/she asks for leave not to take care of a parent or a sick pet, but, for instance, of one of the in-laws.

May I ask my attorney for help?

Though we try to give thorough and helpful info on the topic of family and medical leave act, you should consult with your attorney for more details. He/she will tell you how to behave in any miscellaneous situation regarding FMLA. If needed, he/she will help to file a claim against the employer.

In any situation, protect your employment rights and if think that they re somehow violated, get a skillful attorney to help.

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