The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal statute that provides up to 12 weeks of leave during a 12-month period to eligible employees. The leave may be paid, unpaid or a combination of paid and unpaid leave, depending on the circumstances of the leave and as specified in this policy.
To qualify for FMLA, the employee must normally meet all of the following conditions:
- The employee must work for a covered employer;
- Work 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of leave;
- Work at a location where 50 or more employees work at that location or within 75 miles of it; and
- Have worked for the employer for 12 months. The 12 months of employment are not required to be consecutive in order for the employee to qualify for a FMLA leave. Time taken off work due to pregnancy complications can be counted against the 12 weeks of family and medical leave.
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) dictates that hours an employee would have worked but for their military service are credited toward the employee’s required 1,250 hours worked for FMLA eligibility.
When requesting a FMLA leave, communication is key. In general, that statute requires the following:
- The employee must provide the Company with notice when the employee knows they need to leave.
- The Company must notify the employee as to whether they are an eligible employee for FMLA leave within 5 business days of the employee’s request.
- The Company must then provide the employee with their FLMA rights and responsibilities, as well as any request for certification.
- If the Company requests a certification, the employee must provide a completed certification to the Company within 15 calendar days.
- The Company then must notify the employee as to whether the leave has been designated as FMLA within 5 business days.
- After the FMLA leave and the employee returns to work, the Company must return the employee to the same or nearly identical job.
If you believe that you have either been denied FMLA leave or retaliated against for taking leave, please contact Oliver Law Office for a consultation today.