Following the Law: The Family Medical Leave Act

Category: Employment Law
Posted: 09-02-2012 09:14 PM
Views: 1371
Synopsis:

The FMLA or Family Medical Leave Act was made law in 1993 and provides for unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons.  The act was passed to give workers a chance to take leave from their employment for pressing family concerns without the fear of losing their job or benefits.   All organizations with 50 or more employees who work 20 or more weeks a year are required to adhere to the FMLA.   The FMLA is a critical part of employment law training.

The FMLA or Family Medical Leave Act was made law in 1993 and provides for unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons.  The act was passed to give workers a chance to take leave from their employment for pressing family concerns without the fear of losing their job or benefits.   All organizations with 50 or more employees who work 20 or more weeks a year are required to adhere to the FMLA.   The FMLA is a critical part of employment law training.

Eligible employees are allowed to take 12 weeks of leave in a 12 month period and when they return they must be given the same or an equivalent job.  The job must be equal in terms of pay, responsibilities and benefits.  In addition, while the employee is on leave they must continue to receive health benefits as if they were still on the job.  Employees may take blocks of time less than 12 weeks.

  • The birth or the care of a child who is less than 1 year old.
  • The adoption a child and care for that child within 1 year of placement.
  • The placement of a foster child with the employee and care for that child within 1 year of placement.
  • Caring for the employee's spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition.
  • A serious health condition that renders the employee unable to complete the essential functions of their job.
  • Military emergencies where the employee's spouse, son, daughter or parent is a covered active military member on covered active duty.

In addition, employees may take 26 weeks in a 12 month period to take care of a covered injured military service member who is a son, daughter, spouse or parent.

In order to be eligible to receive benefits, employees must have worked for 12 months for the employer and at least 1250 hours in those 12 months.  The months don't need to be consecutive.

Employers must prominently display a poster containing the guidelines of the FMLA so that employees are completely aware of the law.  Failure to do so can result in penalties.

Before making any decision regarding the FMLA, it is vitally important that you study the law carefully and get advice from your human resource or legal department.  Information in this article does not constitute legal advice.

Charlie Bentson King is a writer and VP of creative content for TrainingABC.  TrainingABC provides employment law training videos including FMLA training videos.

 

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