FMLA, or the Family Medical Leave Act, was created with the intention of balancing the needs of California employers with the needs of their employees when the employees had to take extended medical leaves for serious medical conditions or to care for family members. FMLA applies to any employer in the private sector who engages in commerce or in an industry or activity affecting commerce, and who has 50 or more employees each working day during at least 20 calendar weeks in the current or preceding year. While many employees assume FMLA leave is paid time-off, the law does not require it. However, whether an employee receives paid FMLA leave should be clearly explained in the employee’s work agreement.
An employee is eligible for FMLA leave if he or she:
- Has worked for the covered employer, for at least a year (not necessarily consecutive), and
- Has worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately before the leave, and
- Works at a location where at least 50 employees are employed at the location or within 75 miles of the location.
To determine whether your employer has met the above requirements, discuss your situation with an Orange County employment lawyer. If you meet the above criteria for FMLA leave, your employer is required to grant you up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, for one or more of the following reasons:
- The birth and care of the employee’s newborn child;
- Placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care;
- To care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
To take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.
For a clearer understanding of where the law stands on each of these issues, seek out legal counsel. For more information on your rights under the FMLA, contact the experienced Orange County employment lawyers at Hardin & Associates today.