What Is The Family And Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?
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 or a newly placed adopted or foster child
- To care for a seriously ill child, spouse or parent
- For the employee's own illness
What Are The Purposes Of The FMLA?
The FMLA was enacted to assist 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, it 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 with a serious health condition.
Who Is An Eligible Employee?
Under the FMLA, an individual is an "eligible employee" if:
- He/she has been employed for at least 12 months by the employer with respect to the permissive leave entitlement requested (see below).
- 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?
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, a permissive leave entitlement includes:
- The birth of a son or daughter of the employee
- The placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care
- The care of a spouse, child 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
What Are Employers Required To Do Under The FMLA?
If you meet the criteria of an "eligible employee" and possess a "permissive leave entitlement," and your employer meets the requirements of coverage under the FMLA, what is your employer required to do?
The employer must provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave and allow you to return to your original job or be given an equivalent job when you are able to return to work.
Contact Us If You Have Questions About Your FMLA Rights
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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.