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What Are The Qualifications For FMLA?

The Family Medical Leave Act, otherwise known as FMLA, was enacted in 1993. It is designed to grant family and medical leave under certain circumstances. FMLA is a law that has allowed many Americans to take time away from work to care for themselves or their families in long-term situations.

Who is Qualified for FMLA?

While FMLA has benefited so many, not everyone is covered by this legislation. There are several qualifications that must be met in order to take advantage of FMLA. For example:

  1. Is the employer covered? The first concern is whether or not your employer is covered by the act. FMLA covers all state and government employees and private employers with 50 or more employees over the course of a 20-week period. If an employer is not covered by FMLA, the protections under the act do not apply unless mutually agreed upon by both employer and employee.
  2. Is the employee covered? Even if the employer is covered, there are other provisions that must be followed. FMLA requires that employees need to have worked for that specific employer for a minimum of 12 months (this does not have to be consecutive). As well, the employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the prior 12-month period leading up to the leave. And, the employee must work at a location where at least 50 employees of their company work within a 75-mile radius.
  3. Does a serious medical condition exist? FMLA allows an employee to take an unpaid leave from work to care for a serious medical condition. This includes the birth of a child. It also includes a serious medical condition that requires hospital care or treatment expected to result in losing more than three workdays. Additionally, if an employee needs to care for a family member who suffers from Alzheimer’s or has had a stroke, that is covered under FMLA, as well.

How Do You Apply for FMLA Leave?

Unless the requested leave is due to an unexpected or sudden illness, an employee should provide 30 days notice to his employer prior to taking leave. Your company’s human resources department can give you the appropriate forms to make your leave request.

If an employee complies with the provisions of FMLA, he is entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave and still return to the same job or a comparable one with similar responsibilities and pay.

If you have any questions about FMLA, contact us at May, Potenza, Baran & Gillespie. Our employment law team can advise you and help you with your particular situation. Contact us at (602) 252-1900.

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