FAQ Family and Medical Leave Act

What is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

The Family and Medical leave Act (FMLA) is a federal statute that provides covered employees with the right to an unpaid leave of absence for up to 12 weeks within a 12 month period in order to address family and medical responsibilities.
 

Am I eligible to take Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave?

In order to be eligible to take Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, you must have been employed by a "covered employer" for at least 12 months, and you must have worked at least 1250 hours for your employer during the preceding 12 month period.
 

Who is a “covered employer”?

Only those employers who regularly employ 50 or more employees are “covered employers” under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
 

Under what circumstances can a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave of absence be taken?

It can be taken for your own "serious health condition" or that of your child, parent or spouse to allow you to care for that family member.  You can also take it in connection with the birth, adoption or foster care placement of your child.
 

Am I required to give notice of my intention to take leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

You are generally required to give 30 days advance notice when the leave is “foreseeable.”  Your employer may require medical certification to support your request for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave.
 

Can I take an Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave in addition to my pregnancy leave?

No, under the FMLA, the term "serious health conditions" is defined to include any periods of incapacity or treatment due to pregnancy, including prenatal care.  Thus, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave would be included within the employer's pregnancy leave. 
 

Am I entitled to be paid for time off on a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave?

No.  You are not entitled to compensation while you are off on Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave.
 

Is my employer obligated to hold my job open for me while I am on a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave?

Yes, an employer may not legally terminate your employment while you are off on a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave.  Upon your return to work, the employer is obligated to reinstate you to your prior position of employment, but if that job is no longer available, then the employer must offer you comparable employment.
 

Is my employer obligated to maintain my health coverage while I am out on Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave?

Yes.  For the duration of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, your employer must maintain your health coverage under any “group health plan.”
 

When must I bring a claim under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

An action against your employer must be brought within 2 years after the date of the last event constituting the violation of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  If the violation is willful, then the action may be brought within 3 years after the date of the last event constituting the violation of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
 

What damages can I receive if I prove that my employer violated the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides that you may receive damages equal to any wages, salary, employment benefits or other compensation denied or lost by reason of the violation.  If the violation is proven to be willful then a court may double the amount of wages, salary or benefit or other compensation lost.  You may also be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses associated with the litigation of the matter.  

 

 

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