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Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA)

Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA)

The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is a federal labor law in place to provide eligible employees the ability to tend to their own medical needs or that of a family member with a serious health condition. The FMLA provides eligible employees with up to twelve (12) work weeks of unpaid leave in a twelve (12) month period for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child; care of a spouse, son, daughter or parent with a serious health condition; or their own serious health condition which causes an inability to work.

The FMLA only applies to companies that have more than fifty (50) employees within seventy-five (75) miles of each other. Part-time employees are counted towards the fifty (50) employees minimum and public employers are covered regardless of the number of workers they employ.

To be eligible, an employee must have worked for the employer for at least twelve (12) months and must have worked at least one thousand two hundred fifty (1,250) hours within the prior twelve (12) months prior to taking leave. In addition, the FMLA is limited to serious health conditions. In other words, it cannot be used for an employee seeking to take a “sick day.” The serious health condition under FMLA includes, illness, injury, impairment, or a physical or mental condition that involved “in-patient” care, defined as an overnight stay in a medical facility, any related incapacity, and continuing treatment by the health care provider which includes at least one of the following: 1) more than three (3) consecutive days of incapacity and any subsequent treatment or period of incapacity related to the same condition; 2) any period of incapacity due to pregnancy even if the treatment is not received during the absence of prenatal care; 3) any period of incapacity or treatment for a chronic serious health condition requiring periodic treatment even if treatment is not received during the absence; 4) a long-term or permanent period of incapacity; or 5) any period of absence for multiple treatments and recovery from the treatment by a health care provider for restorative surgery or for a condition that would likely result in more than a three (3) day period of incapacity if left untreated.

Before taking FMLA leave, the employee must give thirty (30) day notice when the need for leave is foreseeable. When the need for leave is unforeseeable, the employee must give notice as soon as practical, which is generally defined as one to two (1-2) days after becoming aware of the need to take the FMLA leave. The employee must give sufficient notice so as to advise the employer of the fact that the leave is being taken under the FMLA and the basis for the need to leave and the likely duration of the leave. At that time the employer has the right to request additional information regarding the nature of the illness requiring the need to leave and the duration of time.

Unlike many other labor laws, the FMLA does not require an analysis of the intent of the employer. It is simply enough that the employer failed to follow the requirements of the act. However, this is something an employee with no legal knowledge or experience will hardly notice or keep track of. This is why you need family medical leave lawyers to check whether or not your employer has followed the FMLA requirements in your case.

It is also important to recognize that the FMLA is unpaid leave. The law does not require an employer to pay the employee while off of work. The employer must hold the job for the employee or an equivalent job, with equivalent pay and benefits. In case, you have troubles at work as a result of your leave, then you should contact our family medical leave lawyers as soon as possible.

Family Medical Leave New Jersey Lawyers

At O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, our family medical leave attorneys have extensive experience dealing with FMLA cases. If you suspect a violation of the FMLA, tell our family medical leave lawyers all about your situation. Contact us online or call at 1-908-928-9200 or 1-800-586-5817. Use an opportunity and get a free evaluation of your case with our team of family medical leave attorneys.