The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was established into a federal law in 1993. This act gives employees the right to leave from work for an unpaid period of time without losing their jobs. However, there are some conditions for those who would like to qualify for leave under the FMLA. These are some, but not limited to conditions to be qualified for leave under the FMLA:
- Personal/family serious illness- in the event when an employee has chronic health disruptions or he/she is unable to engage in labor for at least 3 days as a result of health problems, then they are allowed to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave.
- Pregnancy/birth/adoption- In the event when both parents are employed by the same employer, their individual leave period might be reduced.
- Military Family Service members in all the cases where a family member has been injured as a result of military duty, the employee receives the right to leave.
- Your employer must have 50 or more employees who work in a 75-mile radius. All employees, including those who work on a part-time basis, are included in the total.
- You have worked at your respective workplace for at least 12 months or 25 hours per week.
Anyone who qualifies for leave under the FMLA, annually has the right of 12 weeks of leave. Employees cannot take sick days to take care of their sick family members, that is why they must qualify for the FMLA leave. Notification for leave must be submitted at least 30 days prior to their leave. In the event of birth, adoption, surgery recovery, the time of leave should be more or less predictable. FMLA preserves the right for employees to take partial leave, e.g., a family member needs periodic medical help or medical treatment is to be received on a periodic basis. However, for all these scenarios, the employer may still have the right to refuse to leave on an occasional basis.
The employer has the right to require medical proof of the employee’s as well as their family member’s illness. This statement should be certified by the doctor with a detailed diagnosis of the illness. To draw better conclusions, the employer also obtains the right to ask the expertise of an independent doctor. In the case where the first doctor’s examination contradicts the second’s, the employer might ask for the third’s expertise. The latter’s opinion will be binding for both parties. If the case stretches out for a long period of time, the employer is entitled to ask for re-certification every 30 days.