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Legal Matters: Family and Medical Leave Act


Today I'm going to talk about medical leave. If you work for an employer with 50 or more employees, you may be eligible for medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Also referred to as FMLA. FMLA is a federal law that was signed into law by President Clinton in 1993. It allows employees to take up to 12 weeks off without pay. An employee can take FMLA for the birth of a child, for the placement of a child for adoption, to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition, and due to an employee's own serious health condition. In order to be eligible to take FMLA leave as an employee, you must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months.

If you take leave under the FMLA, your job is protected. Also, during the time that you are on FMLA leave, your employer is required to maintain your health benefits. When your leave is over, the employer is required to restore you to your position.

As an employee, you are responsible to provide notice to your employer of at least 30 days if your leave is foreseeable and as soon as possible if it's not. Your employer may require you to get medical certification for your condition or that of an immediate family member. If you need medical leave and you are eligible to take FMLA, it's important to work with your employer to ensure that your rights are protected.

Information provided by Julie Gafkay of Gafkay Law.