Family and Medical Leave Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Allows certain employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It requires that group health benefits be maintained during the leave.
Leave must be granted for any of the following reasons:
- for the birth and care of a newborn child of an employee;
- for placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
- to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
- to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition; or
- to care for a spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin who is a current servicemember with a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty, up to a total of 26 workweeks; or
- to assist a spouse, son, daughter, or parent on active duty (or soon to be) in the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation. Leave must relate to a short notice of deployment (under 7 days); making child care, financial or legal arrangements; military activities; or short-term leave (5 days).
To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must:
- work for an employer that is a public agency, public or private elementary or secondary school, or company with 50 or more employees; and
- have worked for the employer for over a year; and
- have worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months; and
- work at a location where at least 50 co-employees work within 75 miles.
Leave is limited to a combined total of 26 work weeks for any FMLA-qualifying reason during the “single 12-month period.” Only 12 of the 26 weeks total may be for an FMLA-qualifying reason other than to care for a covered service member.
FMLA leave may be taken intermittently and not all at one time.
Spouses employed by the same employer are limited to a combined total of 26 workweeks in a “single 12-month period” if the leave is to care for a covered service member, birth of a newborn child, adoption or foster care for a child, or to care for a parent who has a serious health condition.
Special rules apply to school employees. Rules concerning service members may change. For more specific information go to the Department of Labor website: www.dol.gov
This article is meant to give you general information and not to give you specific legal advice.Prepared by Community Legal Aid Services, Inc. Updated April, 2012. CE-59-F187-CLAS