There are many state and federal laws that protect the rights of workers. Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) is one such law; it is a federal law that allows eligible workers 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for themselves or a family member. FMLA requires health insurance benefits be maintained during the leave, despite the fact that it does not require you actually be paid. Essentially, you are allowed to take off work to care for yourself or someone else and not be terminated.
Am I Eligible?
There are only two questions to ask when determining if a worker is covered under FMLA.
– Have you worked for your employer for at least one year before requesting leave?
– Do you work at a location where your employer employs 50 or more employees?
If you answered yes to both of these, you work for a covered employer and are eligible for qualified FMLA leave. Employees of government agencies and public schools are eligible for FMLA leave regardless of the number of other employees in the area. If you now know that you are eligible, and yet your employer has said no, it is time to bring in employment law lawyers in Davie, FL to tell them they do not have a choice.
Is the Health Condition Covered?
It is important to note here that you cannot decide what condition is “worthy” of you needing time of off work. FMLA provides 12-weeks of unpaid leave to care for themselves or a family member for a “serious health condition.” This means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves an overnight stay in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility or continuing treatment by a doctor for a period of more than three consecutive days. Any period of incapacity due to pregnancy or for prenatal care is considered a “serious health condition” under FMLA.
This does not cover any and all medical conditions. Cosmetic treatments, like plastic surgery, are not considered serious health conditions unless inpatient hospital care is required or unless complications develop. Anything that is relatively minor and common, like the cold, the flu, earaches, upset stomach, minor ulcers, headaches, and routine dental exams, are examples of conditions that do not meet the definition of a serious health condition and would not qualify you for a federally-guaranteed leave.
Your Next Steps
Also keep in mind, there are a few things you must do in order to maintain your leave’s eligibility. If you knew of the need for leave before it was to begin, you are required to give your employer as much advance notice as possible before leave was to begin. FMLA leave does not need to be taken consecutively, you may take intermittent leave from time to time.
Contact an employment law firms in Davie, FL as soon as possible, so you don’t miss any important deadlines. If you feel you’re confused about providing proper notice to your employer or feel you were denied being able to take leave, this is your next step.