The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal law that applies to employers that have 50 or more employees working within a 75-mile radius. This law mandates that covered employers allow their employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from work each year to care for their own medical conditions or the serious medical conditions of their family members. If your rights under the FMLA have been violated, the experienced employment attorneys at Swartz Swidler might be able to help you.
In order to have rights under the FMLA, you must work for a private employer that has 50 or more employees. You must have also worked at least 1,250 hours for the employer during the past 12 months, and your employment must have lasted for at least 12 months. Covered workers may take up to 12 weeks of leave during any 12-month period for their own serious health conditions or to care for family members with serious health conditions. The FMLA also offers special rules for military family leave because of deployments, and you may take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for an injured service member who has returned from deployment. You may also take FMLA leave for childbirth, maternity leave or to welcome a new child into your family through adoption or foster care.
If you take approved leave under the FMLA, your employer must continue your health insurance while you are gone. When your leave is over, you will be able to return to your same job or to a similar position at the same rate of pay. While FMLA leave is unpaid, you are allowed to use up any accrued vacation or sick time during it.
How to apply for FMLA leave
You are required to give your employer reasonable notice that you will need to take FMLA leave. If you know that you will need to do so, you must provide 30 days notice. If you do not know that you will need to take the leave 30 days before it, you must give your employer notice as soon as you learn about it. You must give your employer as much information as is needed so that the employer understands that it may be covered by the FMLA.
Eligibility for FMLA is only for certain employees who meet the requirements, including the following:
- The employer has at least 50 employees who work within 75 miles.
- The employee has worked for the covered employer for at least 12 months.
- The employee has worked a minimum of 1,250 hours during the last 12 months.
- The employee or his or her family member has a serious medical condition, is adding a new child to the family or needs to take leave to care for a military service member.
To learn more about your rights under the FMLA, contact the employment law attorneys at Swartz Swidler.