What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, jobprotected leave per year for certain family and medical reasons. Employees are also entitled to continue their health insurance coverage during their leave. The FMLA applies to all public and private employers with 50 or more employees, as well as to all public agencies and elementary and secondary schools. Employees who have worked for their employer for at least 12 months and have at least 1,250 hours of service during that time are eligible for FMLA leave. Reasons for taking FMLA leave include the birth or adoption of a child, the serious illness of a child, spouse, or parent, or the employees own serious health condition. Employees may also take FMLA leave to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness. The FMLA provides employees with a jobprotected leave of absence for up to 12 weeks per year. Employees are also entitled to continue their health insurance coverage during their leave.

Eligibility Infographic


When Can an Employee Use FMLA Leave?

To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must have worked for their employer for at least 12 months, and for at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months. Employees are also eligible if they work at a location with at least 50 employees within 75 miles.

Here is a high level view of FMLA leave use cases:

To care for a newborn child

To care for a newly adopted or foster child

To care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition

To take medical leave when the employee is unable to work due to a serious health condition.

Military Family Leave – The FMLA also provides certain military family leave entitlements. You may take FMLA leave for specified reasons related to certain military deployments. Additionally, you may take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness.

Read more here for full breakdown: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/legacy/files/employeeguide.pdf

Communication and the Leave Process


For the full breakdown, see: www.dol.gov/whd/fmla

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