The Family & Medical Leave Act of 1993 was written to accommodate a sudden period of growth in the workplace, mainly from a rapid influx of women employees. The FMLA was designed to protect employees who wanted to take extended leave to recover from a medical condition, raise a family, or care for a family member with a serious condition.
Specifically, it entitles employees to 12 weeks of unpaid leave every 12-month period—26 weeks if the employee is caring for a family member injured from their military service. It protects them from harassment or discrimination from taking extended leave, and it entitles them to return to the same or an equivalent position upon returning from leave.
There are five situations in which an employee may qualify for benefits under FMLA:
The law also gives employees the right to sue their employer for retaliation if their termination or demotion is caused by taking unpaid leave. They may also sue for interference if they are denied any benefits under the law, including continuous medical coverage (paid for by the employee), restoration to the same pay upon return, and restoration to the same or similar position.
However, employers are not obligated to accrue benefits for the employee or maintain their “seniority” in their absence.
Any employer with more than 50 employees in the same 75-mile radius must provide unpaid leave to qualifying employees. However, only employees who have been worked 1,250 hours in the last 12 months may qualify for extended leave protections. In addition, employees must provide as much notice as is practical under the circumstances when requesting extended leave.
If you have any questions regarding your company’s compliance with the FMLA as an employer, contact the Montgomery County employment lawyers at Duffy North. Our consultation could provide you with clear counsel about what you lack, whether you’re vulnerable to litigation, and other vital legal issues.
Call (215) 515-2560 or contact Duffy North online today.