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What do I need to know about FMLA?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) offers job protection in the event an extended leave due to an illness of other circumstance. Understanding FMLA is crucial should you need to care for your family, as both you and your employer have certain obligations you must adhere to. The United States Department of Labor offers the following information in this case, which can be a good starting point.

Which employees are covered?

There are a few elements that must be in place for an employee to be eligible for FMLA. First, the worker must have been employed in that specific workplace for at least 12 months. Next, the employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours for that employer prior to taking leave. Additionally, the employer must have at least 50 workers within a 75-mile radius at the specific location.

How much leave is available?

Within a year, workers can take up to 12 weeks of leave. If the person being cared for is in the military, then workers may be eligible for up to 26 weeks of leave in a years’ time. Leave can be taken in one block or may be taken intermittently. Employees may also be able to work a reduced schedule while providing care.

What are some reasons I can take leave?

Leave can be taken to care for an immediate relative suffering from a serious health condition. This includes a parent, spouse, son, or daughter. If the worker is pregnant, she can also take leave, as can a worker who has just adopted a child. Leave can also be taken if the worker falls ill, or if an immediate family member in the military is called for service or already in service.  

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