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What falls under FMLA? (Family Medical Leave Act)

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FMLA, also known as the Family Medical Leave Act, allows you to take up to 12 weeks of leave under certain circumstances if you have a medical issue or need to care for a family member. While this leave is unpaid, your job is protected during this time, and your employer must continue to pay for your group health insurance coverage if they already do so.

You are eligible to take 12 weeks of FMLA per 12 month period under the following circumstances:
-You have given birth to a child or are the spouse who is a parent of a newborn, within one year of the child’s birth.
-You have adopted a child or have had a child placed with you for foster care within the past 12 months.
-You must care for a spouse, parent, or child with a serious health condition.
-You have a serious health condition that makes you unable to perform the basic functions of your job position.

If your spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin is a member of the military who has a serious illness or injury as a result of his or her service, you may be eligible for 26 weeks of leave during a 12 month period.

To be eligible for FMLA, in addition to having one of the circumstances above, you must also work for a qualifying employer. This includes all public agencies as well as any private employers who have at least 50 full time employees for at least 20 weeks out of the year.

You must also have worked at least 1,250 hours during the full year before you start your covered leave and have worked for this employer for at least 12 months, although the 12 month period does not need to be consecutive.

If you have questions about the Family Medical Leave Act or believe you are being unfairly denied leave under FMLA, you may want to consult a family law or employment attorney. He or she can help ensure your job remains protected while you take the time off to which you are entitled by federal law.