If you are like most Americans, your job takes up a significant portion of your time. However, life does not stop because you have work obligations.
Fortunately, the Family and Medical Leave Act provides a way for you to take time off to deal with certain family and medical issues. Here are some things to know about the FMLA.
You must meet eligibility requirements
You can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid work leave over 12 months if you meet any of the following eligibility criteria:
- You have worked for a covered employer for 12 months and 1,250 hours
- You have a serious health condition that hinders your ability to work
- An immediate family member requires your care for a serious health condition
- You need time off for the birth of a child or bonding after the child is born
- You are adopting or fostering a child and need to bond with the child
Additionally, you can take up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave in 12 months to care for a service member or veteran with a serious health condition or injury.
You get to keep your job
Work leave under the FMLA is job-protected, meaning your employer must allow you to have your job back or a position with similar pay and benefits upon return. Your employer cannot fire or demote you for exercising your rights under the FMLA, as this is discriminatory behavior.
Understanding your rights under the FMLA can help you safeguard your interests while you care for yourself and your family.