Whether you’re ready or not, life’s challenges will come. Sometimes, these come in the form of physical trials, while others are mental or emotional. You may combat your own medical issues, or it may be those of a close family member that requires your time and effort. When you need to devote your energies to these medical problems, what do you do about your employment? Fortunately, the Family and Medical Leave Act provides some help.
FMLA: an Overview
Signed into U.S. law in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, the Family and Medical Leave Act is designed to protect certain employees from losing their jobs when they need to take extended time off for medical reasons. Another purpose of the act is to provide fairness and equal opportunity for men and women workers. FMLA allows people to more effectively balance work and personal needs without worrying about the status of employment. Eligible employees must have worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months and must have been with that organization for at least 12 months. Companies must have at least 50 employees to grant FMLA. It also applies to public agencies and to public and private schools. FMLA allows up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the worker, along with guaranteed job protection until the individual returns.
FMLA entitles the worker to be absent from work during the birth of a child. The subsequent care of the bay is also included in this allowed leave.
New Family Members
In addition to the birth of a baby, FMLA covers an employee’s time off of work at the time of the adoption of a child. This also applies to when a foster child may be placed in the employee’s care.
Caring for a Family Member
There is no question that a loved one’s health condition can cause stress and grief. It is not easy for an employee to focus at work when there are serious medical issues in the home. FMLA grants the workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to help care for the physical, mental or emotional needs of an immediate family member. This includes a spouse, children or parents.
For the Employee’s Benefit
Seriously ill employees can take advantage of FMLA for themselves, too. If an employee has exhausted any paid personal leave, he or she can use FMLA to be away from work if the health condition is making it too difficult to remain on the job for the time being.
It is helpful to understand how FMLA works. If you believe you have a need, speak to your employer and Newark work injury attorneys about your options.
Thanks to Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. for their insight into workers compensation and the Family and Medical Leave Act.