Many employees worry about what will happen to them and their job position if they fall ill or have to take care of a family member who has gotten sick. The Family and Medical Leave Act provides certain employees with protections if this occurs.
Employees who think they might need to use the FMLA should understand what this entails. There are a few important points to remember.
Coverage only applies to specific employers and employees
In order to be covered by the FMLA, you must work for an employer who meets one of these two requirements:
- Private-sector employer: Must have at least 50 employees for 20 working weeks within the previous or current calendar year
- Public agency: All public agencies must follow the FMLA guidelines
Employees must also meet certain requirements in order to take leave under the FMLA. All of these must apply to the situation. They must:
- Have 12 months of employment within the past 7 years
- Have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months that end on the date the lave starts
- Work at a location where there are at least 50 employees within 75 miles
- Request leave for a covered condition, such as the birth of a child, a medical condition of the employee, or to care for an immediate family member with a qualifying condition.
Employees who think they should be covered under the FMLA but have an employer who refuses to follow the law should contact an attorney about their options. Learning your rights under the FMLA can help you to take action to get the protection you’re due.