What Is The Family Medical Leave Act?

by Kelly Mulloy Myers, Lawyer Referral Service Panelist

The FMLA allows you to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for the birth or adoption of a child, because of a serious health condition of you or your spouse, child or parent, or if you have a family member who is a covered military member on active duty in support of a contingency operation and need time to manage their affairs.  You may also be able to take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty.

In order to be eligible to take FMLA, you must have worked for your employer at least 12 months and for at least 1,250 hours during the twelve-month period prior to the leave.  You must also work at a location where the employer has 50 or more employees within 75 miles.  If you need time off of work, you should notify your employer as soon as possible and ask to complete an application for FMLA.  Your employer may require you to submit medical certification supporting the need for leave.

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