Questions and Answers
What is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?
FMLA is a federal law that entitles employees to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. This time can be used, over the course of 12 months, to care for a newborn, a newly adopted child, a seriously ill family member, an employee's own health conditions, in situations of qualifying exigency to be with an employee's spouse, parent or child if they are an active service member or have an impending call to active duty in support of a contingency operation, or for the care of an injured service member if the service member is the employee's spouse, child, parent, or "next of kin".
When can an employee take FMLA?
When the employee is having or adopting a baby
When the employee's child, spouse or parent has a serious health condition
When the employee has a serious health condition
When the employee is needed to care for an injured service member if the service member is the employee's spouse, child, parent, or "next of kin"
When the employee needs to be with the employee's spouse, parent or child if they are an active service member in support of a contingency operation or have an impending call to active duty in support of a contingency operation
How do I know if an employee is eligible for FMLA?
The employer must have at least 50 employees (for 20 work weeks per year) that work within 75 miles of the employee's work site
The employee must have worked for their employer for at least 12 months
The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the last 12 months.
Will an employee be paid for hours protected under FMLA?
No. The FMLA does not require your employer to pay you during your leave. In some circumstances, accrued paid sick leave or vacation time may be used. Contact FMLASource® at FMLACENTER@fmlasource.com for information on your specific company policy.
How is "family" defined under FMLA?
"Family members" are:
The employee's parent
The employee's child, including adult children who are incapable of caring for themselves
The employee's spouse when he or she has a serious medical condition
The employee's "next of Kin" but only in situations of caring for an injured service member
How much leave is an employee entitled to under FMLA?
An employee who is eligible for FMLA is entitled to a minimum of 12 weeks of leave per year. (Some employers and states allow for additional leave.) If taking leave to care for an injured service member an employee is eligible for a one time allotment of 26 weeks in a single 12 month period.
Can an employee take a few hours every week to take a family member to a medical appointment?
Yes. Family leave may be taken intermittently when medically necessary. An employee may take leave in blocks of time such as an hour, a half-day, a day, a
Does an employee need to prove that he or she or a family member has a serious health condition?
Yes. Employees will need to have a doctor complete a medical-certification form.
What will the health care provider be asked to include on the medical-certification form?
The certification form must include the reason for leave, a specific date for leave to begin, a specific date for leave to end and doctor's signature.
What will happen if an employee's doctor does not submit a completed medical-certification form?
The employee will not be protected by FMLA, and leave will not be approved. Disciplinary action may be taken for unapproved leave or job abandonment.