The FMLA is an important law that guarantees certain workers a reasonable amount of annual leave without the threat of job loss. Have any questions?
1. What does FMLA stand for?
FMLA is the Family and Medical Leave Act, a federal law guaranteeing 12 weeks of unpaid annual leave without job loss. If employers are covered under the act, they must maintain health benefits for eligible employees.
2. Who does the FMLA apply to?
All schools and public agencies (state, federal and local) are obligated to follow FMLA regulations. In the private sector, employers who have at least 50 employees for at least 20 workweeks in the current or previous year fall under the act’s jurisdiction.
3. Who is eligible for FMLA?
Employees must meet the following qualifications for FMLA leave:
- The professional must work for a covered employer.
- The professional must have been employed with the company for at least 12 months and at least 1,250 hours during that year.
- The professional must actively work in a location with 50 or more coworkers, or within 75 miles of such a work environment.
4. What qualifies for FMLA leave?
You can grant employees FMLA leave for
- Serious medical conditions
- An immediate relative falling ill and needing care
- Birth of the employee’s child
- Placement of a foster or adopted child
- Qualifying exigency when a spouse, parent or child is on active duty or called to active duty
5. Can employees take leave for illness in their spouses’ families?
Unfortunately, employees cannot leave to care for their in-laws. They can, however, leave to care for immediate relatives.
6. Can employees take leave for a 19-year-old child?
Generally, the FMLA only covers children under the age of 18. However, if the child is incapable of caring for himself or herself or has a severe disability, the FMLA may cover the leave.
7. What are the parameters for the 12-month period?
You have four options for selecting the calendar year:
•Choose the standard calendar year.
•Choose an arbitrary fixed year based on the fiscal year, company anniversary, etc.
•Start the 12-month period on the date the employee’s first leave begins.
•Have the 12-month period go backwards from the employee’s first FMLA leave.
8. Does FMLA guarantee paid leave?
No, the FMLA does not guarantee paid leave. If the employee would like to use some of his or her accrued paid leave, that is acceptable. Additionally, you can also require your employees to use their paid leave during their FMLA leave if you give proper notification.
9. Do other types of leave count towards the 12 weeks of FMLA leave?
Other types of leave can count towards FMLA leave if the employee’s situation meets FMLA requirements. If this is the case, be sure to give your employee proper notice beforehand. This is common for worker’s compensation, maternity and paternity leave.
10. Can FMLA leave cover prescribed therapy sessions?
As long as the appointments are medically necessary and covered through health insurance, prescribed therapy sessions are covered under FMLA leave regulations.
11. Are employees required to provide medical records for proof of illness?
No, your employees are not required to provide their medical records. You may ask for a medical certification of a serious medical condition, but no more than that.
12. Can you require employees to end FMLA leave early?
You may cut FMLA leave short if your employee fails to provide adequate certification for their serious illness within a set time frame. Otherwise, you cannot request an employee to end their leave even for part-time or occasional work.
As an employer, you should stay informed of FMLA standards and make sure to comply with relevant regulations. With enough information, you’ll be sure to provide your employees the leave they need without losing your best talent.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.