December 12, 2019
The Family and Medical Leave Act provides employees to take leave under some conditions. Understanding whether you are eligible and understanding the conditions can be complex. You should talk with a workers’ compensation lawyer if you have questions.
Most government agencies and businesses with 50 employees or more are required to comply with the FMLA. As an employee, you must have worked for this employer for at least 12 months. Even if you do not work for this employer all the time, you may still qualify under some circumstances.
What is Covered Under the FMLA?
The core benefit under the FMLA is the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per 12 month period under certain circumstances. These circumstances include childbirth or the adoption of a child or recovery from a health problem that was serious. You might also qualify if you took leave to care for a family member who was dealing with a serious health problem. If you or a spouse will be going into active duty in the military, the FMLA may cover transition time to get ready for that obligation.
While the employer has no obligation to pay for this leave, this is still an important benefit. Your employer must maintain your health insurance, and they cannot fire you because you have taken this extended leave.
What is a Serious Health Condition Under the FMLA?
Health conditions that might apply to you or a family member would include pregnancy, chronic illness that makes someone unable to attend work, and conditions that caused a stay in the hospital. There are other factors to qualifying as a serious health condition, so talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer if you think you’ve been denied benefits.
What Are Some Limits to the FMLA?
Unfortunately, the FMLA does not cover every situation. Even larger companies can avoid their responsibilities under the FMLA if the affected worker is at a location with fewer than 50 employees within a 75-mile radius. Key employees, defined as someone in the top 10 percent of the employer’s payroll within the same 75-mile radius, are not protected by the FMLA.
If an employer can demonstrate that allowing an employee to come back to work after taking FMLA leave will cause them “substantial and grievous economic injury,” as the act itself puts it, they may be able to avoid bringing the employee back.
While the FMLA provides some benefit to employees who are facing difficult situations, its protections are far from ironclad. If you are concerned about your rights under FMLA, you should contact a workers’ compensation lawyer in West Allis, WI.
Thanks to Hickey & Turim, SC for their insight into workers’ compensation claims and the family and medical leave act.