The Family and Medical Leave Act entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid leave for specified family and medical reasons, states the U.S. Department of Labor. The employer must continue to provide health insurance coverage as if the employee had not taken leave.
Twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period are available for the birth and care of a child within one year of birth; adoption of a child; care for a spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition; a serious health condition of the employee; or a qualifying exigency arising from the employee's spouse, son, daughter or parent on active duty in the military. Twenty-six workweeks of military caregiver leave in a 12-month period are available to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if the employee is the next of kin, reports the U.S. Department of Labor.
To take the FMLA leave, the employee must provide the employer with appropriate notice. For anticipated leave such as the birth of a child, a 30-day notice is required. For unexpected leave, the employee must notify the employer as soon as possible. The employee should follow the usual call-in procedure unless he is unable to do so, for example, if he is undergoing emergency medical care, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.