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Employment Laws: Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

| May 6, 2013 | Employment Law |

There are various employment laws regarding employee rights in the workplace that are spelled out in detail under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA addresses issues and laws that relate to situations that involve an employee, their spouse, their child, or their parent dealing with a medical condition serious enough in nature to render the employee unable to work or perform the necessary functions of their job for a certain prolonged period of time. For example, when an employee or their spouse has a baby and the employee or the spouse requires an extended amount of time off work to care for the newborn baby and the spouse that had the baby.

Employees are entitled to workplace rights under the FMLA as long as their place of employment has at least 50 employees in a 75 mile or less radius, they have been under the employment of their company for a minimum of 12 months and worked 1,250 hours or more over the prior year, and they submitted their FMLA request to their place of employment a minimum of 30 days before the requested time off – unless unforeseeable or unpractical. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the employee also cannot be in the 10 percent of employees receiving the highest salaries and those whose prolonged absence could cause devastating and substantial economic injury to their employer.

If all of these conditions are met, the FMLA allows the employee to take unpaid time off and ensures the employer will preserve their position (or an equivalent position), their rate of pay, and their health insurance while they are absent.

The Family and Medical Leave Act allows an employee to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off during each 12 month period of work.

There are no employment laws under the Family Medical Leave Act that allow an employee to be absent from their place of employment for more than 12 weeks. If they are gone more than 12 weeks, or if they can no longer perform their job functions once they return, the employer may fire them and they are no longer eligible for protection under the Family Medical Leave Act and its corresponding employment laws.

Employers have the right under the Family and Medical Leave Act to require employees to provide them with documentation of the medical condition necessitating the enforcement of employment laws under the FMLA. If they request certification, they must allow the employee a minimum of 15 days to obtain the required documentation.

Employers also have the right under the Family and Medical Leave Act to request employees to provide documentation attesting to their fitness to return to the workplace and resume their previous job.

When dealing with the Family and Medical Leave Act, it is important to hire an attorney that is well versed in the employment laws under the FMLA. The Family and Medical Leave Act has very detailed laws and a competent attorney familiar with those laws is best able to guide and protect an employee’s rights under the FMLA. Ace Law Group is willing and able to take on Family and Medical Leave Act disputes. During consultations, they can explain the laws under the Family and Medical Leave Act in layman terms so employees can better understand their rights.

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