One of the protections that workers have on a federal level has to do with medical situations that impact you or those in your immediate family. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides very specific leave requirements for workers that meet specific criteria. Here are a few points you need to know about the FMLA:
Employers who employ at least 50 workers for at least 20 of the work weeks during the current or previous year must extend FMLA coverage to current employees who meet criteria requirements. In order to qualify, you must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months for at least a total of 1,250 hours. Your job has to take place in a location where there are at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.
You can’t take FMLA leave for just any reason. A few of these include the need to take care of an immediate family member who has a serious condition, your inability to work due to a medical condition or having a qualifying exigency due to an immediate family member’s military service. The birth, adoption or placement of a foster child all qualify for FMLA coverage.
One thing that you must remember about leave under FMLA is that it only guarantees unpaid leave. Your employer might ask that you provide a medical certification to prove the illness exists, but there isn’t a requirement to provide medical records for this purpose. Without providing this certification, you risk being told to come back from leave before the 12-week guaranteed period is complete.
Source: FindLaw, “What is FMLA? FAQ on Federal Leave Law,” accessed Jan. 10, 2018