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Who is covered by the Family Medical Leave Act?

In our last post, we talked about the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and how it helps employees. Today, we want to continue the theme of looking at basic, but important, laws that protect employees and grant them rights. So let's talk about the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The Family Medical Leave Act is a federal law that protects employees that are covered by it. In order to qualify as a covered employee, you must either work for a state, federal, or local government agency, or work for a private entity that engages in or affects interstate commerce. This means that most people are eligible under the FMLA.

The Family Medical Leave Act affords employees that are covered the right to take extended periods of leave from their job to cover a serious illness or health condition that either they are suffering or a family member is suffering. This can include a wide variety of health conditions, such as:

  • Birth or adoption
  • An illness that requires hospitalization or work absence to continue treatment
  • Pregnancy
  • Treatment for chronic condition or a permanent long term condition
  • Multiple treatments for one or multiple medical conditions

Another important aspect to the FMLA is that it provides provisions for how a worker who uses FMLA leave can return to their job. The FMLA requires that the employer restore the employees original position, or to a position of equal importance, as well as maintaining the pay and benefits of the original position. 

Source: FindLaw, "Family and Medical Leave: Overview," Accessed Dec. 18, 2017

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