The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects qualified employees by requiring employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year.
The FMLA does not apply to all employers; specifically employers must employ 50 or more employees within a 75-mile area.
For the leave of absence to qualify for job protection under FMLA it must fall under the guidelines outlined in the law.
Typically this would be for the birth or adoption of a child or a serious medical condition for the employee or a close family member.
In order to be eligible for unpaid leave under FMLA an employee must have been employed a minimum of one year and must have worked at least 1,250 hours within the last 12 months.
Most employers will require certification from the employee’s health care provider stating that you are unable to work.
The FMLA offers the following protections:
1. A qualifying employee may not be terminated during these 12 weeks for taking a leave of absence under the conditions of FMLA.
2. If you use FMLA the law requires that your employer allow you to return to your previous position or an equivalent position with the same benefits and pay.
3. If your employer terminates you after returning to work from taking FMLA you may have a wrongful termination claim and you should consult with an attorney.