The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows employees to balance their work and family life by taking reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. The FMLA seeks to accomplish these purposes in a manner that accommodates the legitimate interests of employers, and minimizes the potential for employment discrimination on the basis of gender, while promoting equal employment opportunity for men and women.
The FMLA applies to all public agencies, including State, local and Federal employers, and local education agencies (schools), and to all private sector employers who employ 50 or more employees for at least 20 workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year - including joint employers and successors of covered employers.
To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must work for a covered employer and:
As is explained in greater detail on the U.S. Department of Labor’s website, the FMLA allows an employee to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for a “qualifying event.” (Vacation and paid comp time can be used as well.) Qualifying events include:
The FMLA permits employees to take leave on an intermittent basis or to work a reduced schedule when medically necessary to care for a seriously ill family member, or because of the employee's serious health condition. In caring for a newborn or newly placed adopted or foster care child, intermittent leave may be taken only with the employer's approval.
Only the amount of leave actually taken while on intermittent/reduced schedule leave may be charged as FMLA leave. Employees may not be required to take more FMLA leave than necessary to address the circumstances that cause the need for leave.
Employees needing intermittent/reduced schedule leave for foreseeable medical treatment must work with their employers to schedule the leave so as not to unduly disrupt the employer's operations. In such cases, the employer may temporarily transfer the employee to an alternative job, with equivalent pay and benefits, that better accommodates recurring periods of leave than the regular job.
Your Rights Upon Returning to Work
Do You Have a Case?
At Martin & Bonnett, we have the experience and knowledge to help you determine whether you are eligible for the FMLA and, if you are, whether your employer has violated the FMLA. If you are eligible for FMLA and are punished for exercising your rights, we will diligently represent you and seek enforcement of your rights.
For more information, contact us at 602-240-6900 or 800-952-4750, or use our convenient, confidential Contact Form.