The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that recognizes the difficulties working families face while trying to provide child rearing and care for family members with serious health conditions; particularly where employment policies can force individuals to choose between job security, their own health and that of their family.
The FMLA seeks to balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families, to promote the stability and economic security of families, and to promote national interests in preserving family integrity.
The FMLA requires employers of 50 or more employees to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for qualifying conditions.
The FMLA is not only intended to allow employees to take necessary leave but also to provide an employee who has taken leave continued health insurance benefits while on leave and job security when he or she is able to return to work.
To be an eligible for leave under the FMLA an individual must have:
- completed at least 12 months of service and
- worked at least 1,250 hours within the previous 12-month period
Qualifying Conditions Under the FMLA
Leave of up to 12 weeks is permitted under the FMLA for:
- the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child;
- the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child;
- the care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
- a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his or her job;
- any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on covered active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty) in the Armed Forces.
12 Weeks Leave Under the FMLA is Flexible
Leave may be taken in various lengths or forms, including a reduced work schedule where the employee works fewer hours; or intermittently in blocks of time – for example, to care for a relative or attend medical treatments on a periodic basis.
Leave related to birth or adoption or child care must be taken within one year of the birth or placement and may not be taken intermittently unless the employer allows intermittent leave for that purpose.
Continuation of health insurance coverage Under the FMLA
An employer must continue to offer an employee on FMLA leave continued health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions provided to other employees – as if the employee were not on leave. An employer may not terminate an employee’s health coverage because the employee is on FMLA leave.
Job Restoration Under the FMLA
An employee returning from FMLA leave is entitled to be restored to either:
- the employee’s former position; or
- an equivalent position with equivalent employment benefits, pay, promotional opportunity and other terms and conditions of employment.
Long Island New York FMLA Lawyer
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