Balancing family duties with work responsibilities is not an easy thing to do; it takes a lot of energy, time, and effort. The last thing you want to worry about is is whether you will still have a job if you had to take time off to take care of one of your family members. This uncertainty can be very stressful during an already nerve-racking time. If your spouse gives birth to a new baby or you adopt a child, you should be able to enjoy this new addition without worrying about your employment. The Family and Medical Leave Act is here for those who are approaching these worries.
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”) is a federal law that demands that employers provide their workers with leave while safeguarding their jobs while they are attending to family and medical issues.
Explaining The Family and Medical Leave Act
The FMLA concentrates on authorizing employees to take leave for the following issues:
- 12 workweeks of leave in a 12 month period can be taken by an individual:
- During the birth of a child or one year within the birth of that child;
- In the event of a severe health condition that causes an employee to not be available to complete necessary job functions;
- If a parent, child, or spouse of an employee has a serious health condition;
- If an employee adopts a child or has a foster child placed with them and within one year of that placement or adoption; or
- Any situation that may occur when an employee’s son, daughter, spouse, or parent is covered military personnel on “covered active duty.”
Another place of leave granted by the FMLA is where a person can take 26 workweeks during one 12 month period to take care of a service member who has sustained severe injuries or encountered a serious illness. This is true only if the employee is next of kin to the servicemember, a spouse, daughter, son, or parent. This is often referred to as the military caregiver leave.
How to Qualify for FMLA Benefits
If you meet the qualification criteria, the FMLA can be very lenient. The FMLA follows a “cliff vesting system, where one does not get any type of benefits unless they qualify for them. Thus, the sooner it is determined that you qualify, the quicker it will be to grant you all benefits and protection that the FMLA provides to you.
Some of the important facts about FMLA that you need to know are:
- You can only receive FMLA benefits if you have been with your current employer for a minimum of twelve months;
- Your total hours of work during those twelve months must have been at the minimum 1,250 hours;
- A minimum of 50 employees have to work under your employer and they must be located with a 75-mile radius of where you are currently working. These employees include both full and part-time workers, as well as those on leave.
It is necessary to give any employee who is covered by the FMLA complete access to all FMLA rights they have earned. Employers are not allowed to hinder or segregate against employees who try to maintain their rights under the FMLA. All FMLA right need to be easily accessible and employers should be transparent with that information. Otherwise, they are in violation of their employee’s FMLA rights.
FMLA cases are often hard because they are filled with emotions from both parties. For instance, it is difficult to assert whether an employer is taking revenge toward an employee who has been on leave or if it is because the employer no longer has worked for the employee once they return. The latter might be due to a decrease in business or another valid business reason. Thus, an employer might see that their only option is to now allow their former employee from returning to their position in the business.
We Are Ready To Represent You!
Our lawyers are ready to help you in figuring out whether you lost your job or were demoted because of the leave that you had to take to deal with family medical concerns. Further, we are able to assist you in revealing if your FMLA rights have been violated and if FMLA has been violated. We will guide you through the entire process from start to finish. Call our offices at 703.828.0900 or contact The Brown Firm PLLC online today for a free evaluation of your case.