Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Through the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) employees can take reasonable leave from their jobs under certain conditions and for prescribed amounts of time for personal or family medical needs. The United States Department of Labor explains that the FMLA provides for the birth of a child, the adoption of a child, caring for an ill family member or spouse and/or personally suffering from a serious health condition that prohibits an employee from returning to work. It is applicable to “all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees” (Department of Labor) and requires that all such parties extend this type of leave to employees for up to 12 weeks each year if any of the stated reasons should apply. The FMLA specifically prescribes the following requirements for qualifying leaves:

Employers must have 50 or more employees in their business to qualify
Employees must have 12 months consecutive full time employment and must have worked at least 1,250 hours within the previous 12 months
Employees are entitled to 12 weeks unpaid leave
Leaves are approved for personal medical needs (pregnancy or serious medical conditions) or family medical needs (caring for sick family member, bonding with new baby)
Leaves must be completed during a 12 month period of time
Leave extensions may be permitted under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Family and Medical Leave Act was designed to provide employees with job security in the time that they need to spend away from work for specified reasons. It provides for continued health insurance coverage under the same terms that an employee was provided before they took leave, as well.

If you have requested a leave and were denied by your employer or were demoted/fired after your return to work, your rights may have been violated. If this is your situation, you require the services of an experienced employment lawyer at Miller, Hampton & Hilgendorf. Please contact us at your first opportunity to learn about our extensive experience in employment law and to share your situation with us. We will gladly evaluate the facts of your case and determine how we may be able to protect your employee rights.