What Protection Does The Family Medical Leave Act Provide?

Posted on: 16 August 2022

Do you need to take some extended time off from work and have heard that the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can allow you to take it? If so, it will help to know what protections this law gives you when it comes to how this labor law provides you with job protection.

FMLA Only Covers Businesses Of Certain Sizes

Understand that your employer must have a business that is big enough for your time off to qualify under the FMLA. This is based on there being at least 50 employees that work with your employer and live within 75 miles of its location. This not only includes employees that work at your office but any remote workers that are living nearby the office as well. If your employer runs a business that has less than 50 employees, then you will be out of luck when it comes to FMLA protections. 

FMLA Helps You Provide Care For Your Immediate Family Members 

The reason that you need extended time off from work must also qualify you to use the FMLA. This is often the case with who you are helping with medical care. It could be due to your own medical condition that requires you to recover or an immediate family member. Parents and children will be included, but your grandparents, siblings, uncles, aunts, and other relatives will not qualify if they need care.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule, but it really depends on if you are that person's guardian. Adult children are also considered if they have a qualifying disability. 

FMLA Provides Two Types Of Time Off

There are two different types of time off that you can take with the FMLA. You can take an extended amount of consecutive days off for medical care. This is often used for the birth of a child, where some consecutive days are needed after the child is born. The FMLA also covers intermittent leave, such as when you have a health condition that flares up and requires care, but not all the time. 

FMLA Provides Rolling Hours Of Time Off Work 

Be aware that you are limited to how much time you can take off with the FMLA. You'll be given 480 hours that roll over on a 12-month basis. This means that if you started to use the FMLA to take time off of work on March 1st and used all your hours, you wouldn't be able to start taking more time off again until March 1st of the next year. Hours do not reset on a calendar year basis. 

Contact an FMLA lawyer for more information. 


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