The Family and Medical Leave Act was enacted by Congress to help ensure that workers were able to maintain their employment despite facing medical or family emergencies, which are an all too common part of life. At Neaton & Puklich, P.L.L.P., our staff knows that sometimes employers do not properly handle FMLA requests, or they may make inappropriate moves to punish workers who use the law to their benefit. Therefore it is important for all workers to know the basics of the law and how it may protect them in case of a family or medical emergency.
FLMA essentially provides certain workers with unpaid, protected leave for various common situations that may otherwise require them to quit their jobs and find new employment upon reentering the workforce. The United States Department of Labor states that these situations include pregnancy and adoption, family or personal illness, foster care placement and military leave. In a 12-month period, employees may take up to 12 weeks off of work without fear of retaliation. In cases where the leave is foreseeable, employees must give their employers at least 30 days notice. Otherwise, they are required to notify their employers as soon as their situation allows.
Employees must meet detailed requirements in order to be eligible for this legal protection. They should have worked for a covered employer for at least 12 months, with a total of no less than 1,250 service hours in the year immediately prior to the beginning of the leave period. Employers are prohibited from forcing employees to perform unnecessary or arduous processes before allowing them to return to their positions, or from terminating any employees who seek FMLA leave.
FMLA law has many complex and detailed requirements. You can find additional information about the subject on our web page.