Family Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is intended to help employees balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of the family. The FMLA entitles eligible employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.

Eligible employee

An eligible employee is one who:

  • Works for a covered employer;
  • Has worked for the employer for at least 12 months;
  • Has at least 1,250 hours of service for the employer during the 12 month period immediately preceding the leave; and
  • Works at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles.

Leave Entitlement

Eligible employees are entitled to a total of 12 workweeks of leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following:

  • Because of the birth of a son or daughter of the employee and in order to care for such son or daughter.
  • Because of the placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care.
  • In order to care for the spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent, of the employee, that has a serious health condition. Under the FMLA, an employee who actually has day-to-day responsibility for caring for a child may be entitled to leave even if the employee does not have a biological or legal relationship to the child. The definition of “son or daughter” is limited to children under the age of 18 or 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.
  • Because of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the position of such employee.
  • Because of any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent of the employee is on covered active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty) in the Armed Forces.

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Disclaimer: The materials provided on this site are for information purposes only, and may not reflect the most current legal developments. They should not be considered legal advice and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely on this information to make a decision without first consulting an attorney regarding your particular situation or case.

The information provided in this page has been mainly reproduced from 29 USC § 2612, 29 CFR § 825.207, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Fact Sheets number 28 and 28C.

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