The Family and 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. All covered employers are required to post the FMLA poster and include information about its FML policy included in its employee handbook.
Eligible employees are entitled to (qualifying reasons for FMLA):
- Twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for:
- the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
- the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
- 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 his or her 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;” or
- Twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the service member’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).
Who is covered by FMLA?
The FMLA only applies to employers that meet certain criteria. A covered employer is a:
- Private-sector employer, with 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year, including a joint employer or successor in interest to a covered employer;
- Public agency, including a local, state, or Federal government agency, regardless of the number of employees it employs; or
- Public or private elementary or secondary school, regardless of the number of employees it employs.
What employees are eligible for FMLA?
Only eligible employees are entitled to take FMLA leave. An eligible employee is one who:
- Works for a covered employer;
- Has worked for the employer for at least 12 months;
- Has at least 1,250 hours of service for the employer during the 12 month period immediately preceding the leave*; and
- Works at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles.