The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is an important piece of legislation that protects employees from losing their jobs for taking time off from work. FMLA covers a lot of different reasons for time off from work and ensures that the employee will still have a job when he or she returns once the leave is complete. Today, we will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about FMLA so you have a better understanding of your rights protected by this legislation.
What is Provided by FMLA?
FMLA provides employees with 12 weeks of leave per year that is not paid. The group health benefits that the employee has must still be paid and remain active while the employee is out on leave. Once FMLA leave ends the employee is to return to the same job or one that is an equivalent.
Who Must Follow FMLA?
The Family and Medical Leave Act must be followed by every public agency. This includes local, state, and federal employers. This also includes local education agencies. Employers operating in the private sector who employ 50 or more people for at least 20 weeks in the current calendar or preceding calendar must also provide leave under FMLA to their employees.
Who is Eligible to Apply for FMLA Leave?
The employee who wishes to apply for and take FMLA leave must meet the following requirements:
- Be employed by an employer who is covered by FMLA
- Have worked at least 1,250 hours prior to the beginning of the leave for 12 months
- The employer must have 50 or more employees within 75 miles of where the employee worked
- The employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and they do not have to be consecutive
What are Hours of Service?
As mentioned earlier, an employee needs to have worked for at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months leading up to the leave. This is what is known as hours of service. The only hours that count toward this total are those in which the employee actually works. Vacation, paid time off, sick days, comp time, and any other time missed at work does not count towards this total. FMLA leave, unpaid leave, and paid leave are also not counted.
When can FMLA Leave be Used?
Any of the following reasons can be used for FMLA leave and they must be approved by an employer:
- When an employee is adopting a child
- When an employee is having a child
- Caring for an immediate family member with a serious health issue. This does not include a parent in-law
- If the employee cannot work due to a medical condition
- The employee’s adult child, spouse, or parent is on covered active duty or has been called to active duty in the Armed Forces, Reserves, or National Guard
Consult with an Experienced Wisconsin Employment Attorney
If you need to take a leave from your job due to a medical condition, to care for a sick family member, or to have a child, you should consult with an experienced Wisconsin employment attorney about your situation. Contact the office of Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. today to schedule a consultation.