Life can often be unpredictable, and unfortunately, medical events can derail our lives. Without certain protections, many employees would lose their jobs if they took substantial time off to care for a child, themselves, or a family member. Fortunately, the federal government enacted the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which is a federal law that requires employers to provide certain employees under certain circumstances up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. Learn more about how FMLA can help you keep your job and take care of those who need you most.

Family Medical Leave Act

FMLA allows employees to take unpaid leave for family or medical reasons. Additionally, this law requires that employers allow employees on FMLA leave to maintain their group health benefits throughout the duration of the leave.

FMLA applies to all companies (with 50 or more employees), all public agencies, and all public and private elementary and secondary schools. All of these employers are required under the FMLA law to allow an eligible employee to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for any of the following reasons:

  • To take medical leave because of a serious health condition
  • For the birth and care of the newborn child
  • For placement of a child for adoption or foster care
  • To care for an immediate family member (i.e., spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition

Eligible Employees

Employees are eligible to request FMLA if they have worked for their current employer for at least 12 months, have worked at least 1,250 hours during those 12 months, and work for an employer that has 50 or more employees.

Women will often take time off after the birth of a child. However, it is important to note that any time taken off before the birth of a child (due to pregnancy complications) can be counted against the 12 weeks offered under FMLA.

FMLA is an all-inclusive law, and absolutely includes the rights of fathers to take leave from work in order to care for their newborn child or newly adopted child. In July 2018, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) settled a class-action lawsuit regarding disparate leave practices for parents, and concluded that fathers have full rights to FMLA leave with respect to their newborn child or newly adopted child.

Military family leave has also been added under the FMLA to provide and afford protections specific to the special needs of military families.

Consult an Experienced Employment Attorney Today

When life circumstances include the joy of a new child or the unfortunate situation of caring for a sick family member, your rights are protected under the Family Medical Leave Act. If you feel that your rights under the FMLA have been violated or denied, contact one of our experienced attorneys today to discuss your rights. You may contact us online or call (714) 266-1615 to learn more about your rights and options.