Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.
Eligible employees are entitled to twelve (12) weeks of leave in a twelve (12) month period for:
- Birth of a child and to care for the newborn within one year of birth
- The placement of a child for adoption or foster care with the employee
- To care for the employee’s spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition
- A serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of the job
- Any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on covered active duty
Eligible employees are also entitled to twenty-six (26) weeks of leave during a single 12 month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the servicemember’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin.
The FMLA prohibits any discrimination or retaliation against an employee for taking the allowed leave. It further prohibits any interference by the employer in the taking of the leave. An employee who takes approved FMLA leave is entitled to reasonable job protection. However, the employee will not have job protection if the termination of employment is for a lawful reason and would have occurred even if the leave had not been taken.
The FMLA requires that a covered employer notify the employee of the possible availability of FMLA leave if the employer becomes aware that the employee may qualify for such leave.