What is the Family Medical Leave Act?

by: John Sudberry
Once an employee has worked for an employer for longer than a year, they may be entitled to FMLA benefits.
WHAT IS THE FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT?
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that requires employers to provide employees job-protected and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons. FMLA requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave to eligible employees for the following reasons:
For incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or childbirth;
To care for the employee’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care;
To care for the employee’s spouse, son or daughter, or parent, who has a serious health condition; or
For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
Employees are eligible if they have worked for a covered employer for at least one year, for 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months, and if at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles.
BENEFITS AND PROTECTIONS
During FMLA leave, the employer must maintain the employee’s health coverage under any “group health plan” on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work.  Upon return from FMLA leave, most employees must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. Use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of an employee’s leave.