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Family And Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Columbus Employment Law Attorneys

What is the Family And Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

Codified as 29 USC Section 2601 et seq. in the United States Code, the FMLA requires employers with 50 or more workers to provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period to care for a newborn, newly placed adopted or foster child, to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, or parent; or for the employee’s own illness.

What are the purposes of the FMLA?

The FMLA was enacted to provide law which assists families in balancing the demands of the workplace and the needs of families along with promoting economic security, family stability, and the preservation of family integrity. As a result, the FMLA creates an entitlement in many instances for employees to take reasonable leave for medical reasons, the birth or adoption of a child, or care of a child, spouse, or parent who has a serious health condition.

Who is an eligible employee?

Under federal law (29 USC Section 2611(2) (A) and Title I of the FMLA), an individual is an "eligible employee" under the FMLA if:

  • He/she has been employed for at least 12 months by the employer with respect to the permissive leave entitlement requested (see below) AND
  • He/she has worked at least 1,250 hours for the employer during the previous 12 months.

Who is an eligible employer under the FMLA?

The FMLA defines an "employer" eligible to be covered by the Act as:

  • Any person engaged in commerce or in any industry activity affecting commerce who employs 50 or more employees for each working day during at least 20 calendar working weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.
  • Employers include any person who acts directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer to any of the employees of the employer OR is a successor in interest of an employer.

What is a permissive leave entitlement?

Under federal law (29 USC Section 2612(a)(1), a permissive leave entitlement includes:

  • The birth of a son or daughter of the employee in order to care for the son or daughter.
  • The placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care.
  • The care of a spouse, son, daughter, or parent of the employee if that individual has a serious health condition.
  • A serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his/her job.

If you meet the criteria of an "eligible employee", possess a "permissive leave entitlement", and your employer meets the requirements of coverage under the FMLA, what must employers do to not violate the law?

The employer must provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave and allow the employee to return to their original job or be given an equivalent job when they are able to return to work.

Please note that this discussion on the Family And Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is extremely general and not intended to educate one fully to this legal subject. It can not. The intent of this discussion is to provide some general information to Ohio employees regarding some of their legal protections.

Please note that e-mail sent on an employer’s computer system will probably be considered property of the employer and maybe read or printed by the employer with or without your permission and could be the subject of discipline.

For more information, contact an attorney at our firm. From our office in Dublin, we represent clients throughout the Columbus metro area and central Ohio.

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