There may be a time in your life when you need to take several weeks or months off of work. The Family Medical Leave Act gives you this opportunity without the risk of losing your job.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the FMLA entitles eligible employees to unpaid, job-protected leave under qualifying medical or family situations. You can take up to 12 work weeks of leave within a 12-month period under this act.
When you can use FMLA
There are many situations where you could take time off under the FMLA, but some of the most common include the following:
- After you give birth to a new baby
- When you have a child placed in your home for adoption or foster care
- To care for an immediate family member who becomes seriously ill
You can also take leave under this act if you develop a serious health condition and need to take time off to recover.
Requirements for using this time off
To be eligible for time off under the FMLA, you must have worked for your employer for at least a year and at a location that employs more than 50 people. You also must have worked at least 1,250 hours within the prior 12 months to become eligible for this type of leave.
Ultimately, the FMLA can help you balance your work and family responsibilities by taking a reasonable amount of unpaid leave. Your employer cannot deny you this leave if you qualify for it, and you should be eligible to return to your same position after your leave is over.