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Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was enacted in 1993 to help accommodate the needs of employees and their families for time off due to illness or childbirth. Eligible employees of covered employers are entitled to take unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons and to continued, uncompromised health insurance coverage.

Typical circumstances where employees are entitled to up to 12 workweeks under the FMLA include :

  • The birth of a child.
  • The need to care for the spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent, of the employee, if such spouse, son, daughter, or parent has a serious health condition.
  • A serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the position of such employee.

Employees are eligible for FMLA leave if they have been employed by a covered employer for at least 12 months, whether or not consecutive; had at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12 months immediately preceding the start of the leave; and are employed at a worksite where the employer employs 50 or more employee within 75 miles.

When an employee returns from leave, generally an employer must reinstate the employee into the same job or an equivalent job.

It is unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of or the attempt to exercise, any right to which employees are entitled. It also is unlawful for any employer to discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any individual for opposing any practice that does not comply with the FMLA.

The FMLA is a complex statute and is only a starting point.  Courts and agencies are constantly fleshing out how the law is applied through evolving decisions and regulations.  If you think your employer has failed to comply with the FMLA, it is imperative that you seek legal guidance about your rights and options from an employment lawyer who has handled numerous FMLA cases

If you have a question about your rights under the FMLA, call us at (412) 338-1445 or email us.