If you’re like most people in Glendale, Los Angeles, or elsewhere in California, you’ve heard of the Family and Medical Leave Act (commonly called FMLA).
But what is it, and how does it apply to every worker in the U.S.—including you?
What is the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA?
The Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, is a form of worker protection that gives certain employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year—and that unpaid leave cannot jeopardize those employees’ jobs.
Who Does FMLA Apply To?
Family and Medical Leave Act regulations apply to:
- All public agencies
- All public and private elementary schools
- All public and private secondary schools
- Companies with 50 or more employees
All covered employers must post a notice that explains rights and responsibilities under the FMLA. They also need to include information about it in employee handbooks, or explain it to new employees when they’re hired.
What Situations Do Employers Have to Accommodate Under FMLA?
The employers listed above must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for:
- Birth and care of a newborn child
- Placement of a child for adoption or foster care
- Caring for an immediate family member who has a serious health condition (an immediate family member is a spouse, child, or parent)
- Inability to work due to a serious health condition
Which Employees Are Eligible Under Family and Medical Leave Act Regulations?
In order to be eligible for protections under the FMLA, your employer must be one that the regulations apply to in the first place. If that’s the case, the employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months; during that year, the employee must also have worked at least 1,250 hours, and work at a location where the company has 50 or more employees within 75 miles.
What Happens to Your Job Under Family and Medical Leave Act Regulations?
When you return from Family and Medical Leave Act leave, your employer has to restore you to your original job or to an equivalent job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions.
Your use of FMLA leave can’t be counted against you under any type of “no-fault” attendance policy, and your employer has to continue your group health insurance coverage the same way they would if you hadn’t taken leave.
How Are You Supposed to Request Leave Under the FMLA?
If you’re requesting leave under the FMLA, you must comply with your employer’s usual requirements for requesting leave. You also need to provide enough information that your employer can determine whether FMLA applies in your situation.
If you request FMLA leave, your employer must provide you with notice about your eligibility for it, as well as your rights and responsibilities under it. They also need to let you know whether the leave falls under the FMLA umbrella, and how much of it will be deducted from your FMLA entitlement.
What if You’re Unlawfully Denied FMLA Leave?
The federal government created the Family and Medical Leave Act to protect employees who need time to take care of their own or their families’ medical issues. Unfortunately, some people are illegally denied FMLA leave.
If that’s happened to you, we may be able to help.
Call our Glendale FMLA lawyers right away at 818-617-9706 or toll-free at 800-774-4163. We’ll be able to evaluate your situation and give you case-specific legal advice on what to do next.