The FMLA or Family and Medical Leave Act was created to help employees have the right to fulfill their caregiving responsibilities as well as to recover from a serious illness that has affected them. It helps employees still have a balance life between work and their family. Through this act, the employees can take a leave when they or a family member needs to be cared for. Here are some things that employees should keep in mind about the FMLA to prevent them from seeking labor attorney solutions when they really don’t need to.
1. This act doesn’t cover all employers because there are certain requirements that have to be met such as having a minimum of 50 employees over a period of 20 weeks. Although the smaller employers are not required to follow the FMLA, there might be a state law similar to it that they have to follow.
2. Aside from not covering all the employers, the act doesn’t also cover all the employees. It is possible for an employer to be covered but an employee of the same employer not to be covered. The requirement to be covered is that the employee should have worked for at least a year in the company for a minimum of 1250 hours in the previous year.
3. The FMLA leave should only be used for certain reasons such as having a serious health condition, having a family member who has a serious health condition and is in need of care, or having to take care of a new born child. The act also covers military family leave so when someone in the family is called for active duty or is in need of care due to injuries, one can file a FMLA leave for it.
4. You have to know that the FMLA leave is unpaid. There are some cases when an employee can use up their other sick or vacation leaves to still get paid but once they use it up, they won’t be paid for other days that fall under the FMLA leave.
5. A maximum of 12 weeks per year of leave can be taken by the employee. Exemptions such as taking care of a family member who was injured due to military duties can extend up to 26 weeks of leave but this is only applicable once per family member.
6. If you foresee the need for the FMLA leave, then you should file it 30 days beforehand. It is best to file immediately such as the next business day or on the same day you need the leave.
7. A medical certificate may be required by the employer and the act gives the employer the right to ask for it especially if the reason has something to do with your health.
8. It is possible for you not to take all your FMLA leave at once. You can use it as you need to for as little as a few hours at a time depending on your situation.
9. While on leave, your health insurance premium should still be paid for. Your employer may pay for it but if you decide not to return to work, then you have to pay your employer back. On the other hand if you can’t be back even if you want to, then you don’t have to pay back.
10. After you leave, your position should still be equal to what you had before you had your leave.