Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) enables eligible employees to take up to twelve weeks of job-protected leave for qualifying life events. When on FMLA, employees are required to take annual or sick leave, depending on the nature of the absence. FMLA provides for continuation of health care premiums when the employee has, and wishes to continue, health care coverage during the period of approved leave.
Employees are eligible if they have worked for a covered employer for at least 12 months, and have 1250 hours of service in the previous 12 months, and experience one or more qualifying events.
- For incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care, or child birth; or
- To care for the employee’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care; or
- To care for the employee’s spouse, son or daughter, or parent, who has a serious health condition; or
- For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee's job; or
- For qualifying exigencies related to the foreign deployment of a military member who is the employee's spouse, child, or parent.
- An eligible employee who is a covered service member's spouse, child, parent, or next of kin may also take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave in a single 12-month period to care for the service member with a serious injury or illness
Benefits and Protections
During FMLA leave, the employer must maintain the employee's health coverage under any "group health plan" on the same terms as if the employee continued to work. Upon return from FMLA leave, most employees must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. Use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of an employee's leave.