Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees of covered employers are entitled to leave for specific family or medical reasons. This federal law provides eligible employees unpaid, job-protected leave for up to 12 weeks. For example, new parents with newborns may take leave under the FMLA.
Although there are specific conditions and requirements to be eligible for this type of leave, the FMLA ensures that employees will continue to have healthcare benefits and job protection throughout their period of absence from work.
To be eligible under the FMLA, employees must have worked a minimum total of 1,250 hours for their employer to request FMLA leave. Under FMLA, employers with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius are required to provide 12 unpaid work weeks of leave to eligible employees annually.
The medical conditions protected under the FMLA are specific and include:
- Birth of a child and time to bond with the newborn
- Placement and bonding time with an adopted child or foster care child
- Care of a spouse, child, biological or adoptive parent with a serious medical or health condition
- FMLA protection covers leave for an employee’s own serious health condition
- Care of a seriously wounded or ill spouse, child, or parent active in the military, including the National Guard, Reserves, or other branches of the military
- In the case of leave requested for an active duty military family member, the laws allow for 26 weeks of unpaid leave
Job Security Under FMLA
Upon return to work, the employee is entitled to their previous position without demotion or salary reduction. If the position is no longer available, the employer must offer the employee a position similar in salary, benefits, and status. If a layoff or reduction in force took place while the employee was out on leave, the worker would still be eligible for the same rights and protections as those employees that were not on leave.
New Jersey FMLA Attorneys At McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C.