When Can You Take Family And Medical Leave?
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides job protection for certain workers who need to take time off from work because of a serious medical condition. It also offers employment protection for people who need to care for a seriously ill family member, or who require time off because of the birth or adoption of a child
The law provides you with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave without fear of losing your job because you were unable to work. You do not have to take all 12 weeks, nor must the 12 weeks be taken consecutively.
After you have returned from your medical leave, your employer is required to place you back in the same position as the one you held before you left. If this is not possible, you must be placed in a position with equivalent responsibilities and pay.
FMLA Eligibility Requirements
You are eligible to take FMLA leave if you worked for your employer a minimum of 1,250 hours the previous year. Additionally, your employer must have a minimum of 50 employees available within 75 miles of your office.
For FMLA purposes, your illness or that of a family member needs to be serious but it does not have to be disabling. A family member is defined as a spouse, parent, child or stepchild.
Unfortunately, not all employers play by the rules, and you may find that you have been demoted or that your employer retaliated in another way for exercising your FMLA rights.
This is especially true in situations involving pregnancy, where a combination of improper FMLA implementation and pregnancy discrimination may deny an employee the leave allowed under the law.
Speak With A Lawyer Today
I am attorney Kell A. Simon and I offer free case evaluations. If you have been unlawfully denied FMLA leave, you can call 512-898-9019, or contact me online. I have locations in Austin, Houston and Dallas, and I serve all of Texas.