As someone who works hard to provide for your family, it only makes sense that you have time to provide physical, face-to-face care when your loved ones need it most. The Family and Medical Leave Act is a way you can do that without risking job security. Not sure what FMLA is? The following are some of the very basics, though you should speak with a lawyer, insurance provider or employer to learn more.
Who Is Covered Under FMLA?
Employers dealing in commerce or any industry that directly affects commerce must have FMLA coverage for employees. Other employers this coverage applies to are those with employees who worked 20 calendar weeks or more the past year, and who have at least 50 employees. Local and state governments, as well as local educational agencies are also covered regardless of the 50-employee rule.
What Are FMLA Benefits?
If you are employed by an employer who meets all the requirements, have worked 12 months or more for your employer, with 1,250 hours in the past year, you may be eligible for FMLA benefits. These benefits include leave for twelve workweeks for:
- Your own serious health problem that limits your ability to perform your job.
- The care of immediate family members with health problems. This includes parents, spouses and children.
- Caring for an adopted or foster child, within one year from the time the child was placed with the employee.
- The birth and care of your own child, beginning at birth and up to one year.
An employee could get up to 26 workweeks of leave to care for a spouse, child or parent who is an injured or ill servicemember.
Do You Get Paid?
Under FMLA, your employer is not required to pay you for your time away. The benefit is that you are guaranteed your job back after you have taken care of your family member and are ready to go back to work. As long as you have met all the requirements, your employer cannot discriminate against you for taking time away. Keep in mind you should inform your employer of your leave as soon as possible. A 30-day notice is desired, but you should give as much time as is practical in your situation.
How You Can Learn More
You work hard for your family, and you should be there during their toughest moments. If you are interested in learning more, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer, today.