Help! I Need Family Medical Leave!

FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT

What would you do if you or a family member had a medical condition that required you or them to be out of work for an extended period of time? Under the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), you or your family member may be entitled to 12 weeks of time off.

Learn more below about FMLA and what you or your family should do if it needs to be used.

What is the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993? The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is a United States federal law requiring covered employers to provide employees with job-protection and unpaid leave (up to 12 weeks) for qualified medical and family reasons.

https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/benefits-leave/fmla

What Employers Does The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 Apply To? The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 applies to

● Public agencies
● Public and private elementary and secondary schools
● State and local governments
● Companies with 50+ employees in a 75 mile radius of them

The covered employers that the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 applies to should provide an employee with 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for the following reasons

● For the birth and care of the newborn child of the employee
● For the placement of a child for adoption or foster care with the employee
● To care for a family member (spouse, child or parent)
● If the employee has a serious health condition

When Can I Use FMLA Leave?

Serious Health Conditions

If you, your spouse, child or parent has a serious health condition and your employer is FMLA covered, you may take FMLA leave. Common health conditions that qualify for Family Medical Leave are:

1. If you have to stay in a hospital or other medical care facility
2. If you or a family member has a condition that leaves you or your family member unable to go to work or attend school for more than three days and it requires continuous treatment such as multiple appointments or follow-up care
3. If you or your family member has a condition that causes you or your family member to have treatment at least twice a year
4. If you are pregnant, including prenatal medical appointments, morning sickness and medically required bed rest

Military Family Leave

The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 can give you or your family member the ability to leave for a specified reason related to certain military deployments.

Expanding Your Family

The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 gives you the ability to leave for the birth of your child, to bond with a newborn or for a child being placed in foster care. Men and women have the same rights under the FMLA.

What Should I Do if I Need to Take Family Medical Leave?

You need to contact your supervisor or human resource representative and discuss what you need as far as time off. Time off can be for a specific period of time such as three weeks for a surgery for instance, or intermittent, where you use time as needed in as little as fifteen minute increments. However, you must certify with a doctor and the employer must give you those certification papers if you are eligible and do so, within a few days of your request. Remember, you have to have a serious health condition or a member of your family has a serious health condition. Some family members may not qualify as immediate family.

“Often times, we get calls saying, “I have a health condition, and my employer is not helping me,” explains Jeremy Donham. They ask me, “What should I do?”

1. Talk with your employer, and get everything in writing
2. Take the paper to your medical provider so that he/she can explain and certify

The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 applies to employees that have worked 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months. Also, the employer must have at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius of the company for an employee to qualify.

When an employee returns to work, they must be reinstated in the same position or a position that is equal in pay, benefits and responsibilities or the employee may have a retaliation claim entitling them to damages.

What Medical Certification or Information Do I Need for My Employer?

● Contact information for your healthcare provider
● Date of when the health condition began
● Date of when the health condition is expected to end
● Information about the condition such as symptoms, hospitalization or treatments
● If you have the ability to work
● If you need to take leave for 12 weeks continuously or take time intermittently

Do you believe that your rights under the FMLA Act have been violated, please give us a call at 717.676.7749, or fill out our contact form. Jeremy Donham will be happy to contact you and discuss your legal options.