FMLA, or Family and Medical Leave Act, allows employees working for covered employers to benefit from certain rights. These rights allow employees to protect their jobs while taking unpaid leaves for various reasons.
In general, unpaid leave is 12 weeks at most. However, if you are eligible, you can also take unpaid leave for up to 26 weeks. We have covered every detail you need to know as an employee or employer.
FMLA Requirements Eligibility
If you are an employee working for a covered employer, then you can use the rights provided by FMLA at any time. Of course, you must be eligible to use these rights and follow the required procedures to take your leave.
Of course, working for a covered employer is the first and most important eligibility. Apart from this, you should have worked for the same employer for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 months. The only exception here is airline flight crew members.
In addition, you need to be working in a location where your employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles. Working for your employer for 12 months and at least 1,250 hours is not enough either. The employee must be working consecutively.
If you meet these criteria, then you have the right to use your FMLA rights. However, you can only use these rights under certain conditions. For example, you can take your FMLA leave if you have had a child recently. In addition, you can also take your leave for the care of your child until your child turns one year old.
Having a child is not limited to your biological children. If you adopt or foster a child, you can also use your FMLA rights. However, there is also a one-year limitation. On the other hand, you can also ask for a leave of absence if you need to care for your partner, kids, or parents who have serious medical conditions.
If you have a serious health condition, you can also take your leave for a quick recovery. However, this condition should not prevent you from performing the essential functions of your job.
On the other hand, if your son, daughter, parent, spouse, or next of kin is a service member and you need to provide care for him or her, you can take up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave too.
FMLA Requirements for Employers
If you are an employer employing more than 50 employees, then you are eligible to be covered by the FMLA. You will be covered by the FMLA even if the number of your employees is less than 50 because of leaves for that particular year.
This means that your employees can use their rights provided by the Family and Medical Leave Act and take unpaid leaves. You will not be allowed to replace these employees and are obliged to protect their jobs until they return.
However, you also need to deal with some paperwork. First, you need to post the Family and Medical Leave Act provisions in your business so that all your employees can easily access and see them.
You are obliged to inform and educate your employees about the processes and leave provisions. For this reason, you must provide a handbook or written guidance to your employees during the recruitment process.
Any employer who fails to post the Family and Medical Leave Act provisions will be fined $110. Employers are also responsible for carrying out the leave processes and informing their employees about the conditions of their FMLA leave applications.
For this reason, they also need to fill out a form and request the correction of documents and additional information from their employees regarding their leaves.