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What Is The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

A federal law, the Family and Medical Leave Act guarantees that eligible employees who work for covered employers are able to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave off each year to care for their own serious health conditions or those of their loved ones. Eligible employees are able to take the medical leave without worrying about losing their jobs, and their employers must also maintain their health benefits while they are on leave. The attorneys at Swartz Swidler help people with FMLA-related issues.

Covered employers

The federal FMLA does not cover all employers. Private employers are covered if they have 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius for at least 20 weeks during the current or previous year. Government agencies and schools must also follow the FMLA.

Eligiblity for FMLA leave

In order to take FMLA leave, you must first work for an employer that is covered. You must also have worked for your employer for at least 12 months and have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours in the last 12 months.

Schedule an appointment today. Call (856) 685-7420 or

Schedule an appointment today.
Call (856) 685-7420 or

Qualifying situations

If you are eligible and your employer is covered, your FMLA leave request must be granted if any of the following situations apply:

  • You are unable to work because of your own serious health condition;
  • You need to take time off to care for your immediate family member’s serious health condition;
  • You need leave to give birth or to provide care to your new child;
  • You need leave for the placement and subsequent care of a newly adopted or foster child; or
  • You have an exigency that has arisen from your spouse, child or parent who is on active duty or has been called to active duty.

How the 12-month period is determined

Covered employers are allowed to choose one of four ways to calculate the 12-month period that they use. They can choose the calendar year, a fixed leave year, the 12-month period that starts with the date that the employee’s first FMLA leave starts or the 12 months that goes back from the date of the first leave.

Will you get paid during FMLA leave?

The FMLA does not guarantee paid leave. You are able to use paid leave time that you have accrued during your FMLA leave, however. Your employer may require you to use your paid leave as long as your employer has provided you with its intent to do so.

Other types of leave that might count towards the 12 weeks

Your employer is able to count other types of leave that you take as part of your FMLA leave allotment if it gives you notice in writing. This might include workers’ comp leave or maternity leave that you take.

Intermittent FMLA leave

You are not required to take all of your FMLA leave at one time and can instead take intermittent leave if you need to do so. This type of leave may be taken to attend ongoing medical appointments that you need or that your immediate family needs. If your employer asks you to provide it with proof of your condition, you will need to provide a medical certification of your condition. However, you will not have to give your medical records to your employer.

Can your employer require you to end your FMLA leave early?

Your employer may be able to end your FMLA leave early if you do not provide a requested medical certification. If you have provided the certification, your employer cannot request you to come back to work early.

Limits on what you can do when you are on FMLA leave

Your employer is not allowed to restrict what you do during your leave unless the original reason that you needed the leave no longer exists. When you no longer need the leave, you will need to return to work.

Denials of leave

If you comply with the notice and certification requirements of the FMLA, are otherwise eligible and haven’t exhausted your leave for the year, you should be able to take leave to care for your own medical condition or that of another. Covered employers are not supposed to deny leave requests if you meet the criteria.

Can you lose your job if you take FMLA leave?

Employers are not allowed to use FMLA leave as a negative factor when they make employment decisions. They are able to deny reinstatement to you if you are considered to be a key employee, however. Employers are also not able to retaliate against you for complaining about an FMLA violation.

What to do if your employer has violated your FMLA rights

If you work for a covered employer and are eligible for FMLA leave, you should be granted leave to care for your own medical condition or the serious health condition of an immediate family member. If your employer has violated your rights to leave under the FMLA, contact the employment lawyers at Swartz Swidler to get help.

Most Frequently Asked Question: Do I Have A Case?

While it is true that every case is different, The law is pretty clear in most cases. The best way to determine if you have a case is to contact one of our attorneys. For more information check out the FAQ below or visit our FAQ Page

Most Frequently Asked Question:
Do I Have A Case?

While it is true that every case is different, The law is pretty clear in most cases. The best way to determine if you have a case is contact one of our attorneys. For more information on a just a few scenarios checkout the flip box FAQ below or visit our FAQ Page.

Our Locations

Cherry Hill Headquarters

1101 Kings Hwy N
Suite 402
Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08034

Phone: (856) 685-7420
Fax: (856) 685-7417

Philadelphia Satellite Office

123 South 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone: (215) 995-2733

Our Locations

Cherry Hill Headquarters

1101 Kings Hwy N
Suite 402
Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08034

Phone: (856) 685-7420
Fax: (856) 685-7417

Philadelphia Satellite Office

123 South 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone: (215) 995-2733