Understanding Your FMLA Rights

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal program that allows employees to take unpaid time off for eligible reasons, with the ability to be reinstated in their current position upon their return.

If an employer has a minimum of 50 employees for a minimum of 20 weeks in the current or previous calendar year, they must abide by the federal FMLA guidelines.

In order for an employee to be eligible for FMLA, they:

  • Must have worked for the same company for at least one year.
  • Must have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours during the previous year.
  • Must have worked for a company that has a minimum of 50 employees, and must be within 75 miles.

The FMLA program grants eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for reasons such as the birth or bonding of a new child, a serious health condition, to care for an ill or injured family member, as well as to help care for a family member that was injured during active military service, or to prepare for a family member’s military service leave.

Typically, an employee is entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period, but there are occasions in which a person can take more. In the event that another family member was injured during active military duty, or the same family member was injured during another tour, an employee will qualify to take up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave in a single 12-month period.

In the event that an eligible employee does need to take FMLA, they will be able to continue their current health insurance, as well as pay the same rate as they did while they were working. Employees that have paid time off available are typically required to use their accrued vacation or sick pay, at the time of their leave.

If you are unsure if you are qualified to take FMLA leave, or feel that you have unfairly been denied FMLA leave, contact your local employment law attorney. The professional attorneys at Maduff & Maduff specialize in a variety of employment related issues. Whether your concern is overtime and wage theft, discrimination, or violation of your civil rights, we can help.