As discussed earlier this week, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides an employee with the right to take an unpaid leave of absence from work under federal law. However, not everyone is eligible to take such leave under the act. An employee is eligible if he or she worked 1,250 hours for the employer in the previous year, AND if he or she worked for that employer for 12 months or more (these 12 months need not be consecutive). The worksite where the employee reports to work must be within 75 miles of at least 50 other co-workers. In addition, the employer itself must be eligible under FMLA. For an employer to be covered, it must either be a public agency with any number of employees, or a private employer with at least 50 employees who have worked 20 of the work weeks within the previous year. Provided both the employee and employer are eligible under FMLA, the employee is able to receive up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a family or medical reason.
The FMLA is complicated and there are many more issues that have not yet been discussed here, but will be addressed in later posts.