What are the guidelines for taking leave under the FMLA?


Quick Answer

The U.S. Department of Labor website states that employees who have worked for their employers for at least 12 months and have logged at least 1250 hours be granted 12 weeks of leave for covered family and medical reasons. Exceptions apply based on the size of the company.

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Full Answer

Companies with more than 50 employees must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The FMLA covers the birth or adoption of a child; caring for a child, spouse or parent with a serious health condition; a serious health condition that prevents the employee from working; and any complications that arise from the active military service of a child, spouse or parent. The law entitles employees to return to work at a position and pay equivalent to the position they had before taking FMLA leave. The law does not require employers to pay an employee on FMLA leave, but group health benefits must be maintained.

A 2008 amendment to the law allows for 26 weeks of leave to care for a family member who is a service member in outpatient status; this amendment extends beyond child, spouse or parent to include next of kin, states the U.S. Department of Labor. Some states have leave laws which extend more rights to employees; for example, New Jersey provides payment insurance for up to six weeks of pregnancy leave through the New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits Law.

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