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Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") provides employees protected leave of their jobs and benefits if they meet the eligibility requirements.  Employers with at least 50 employees must comply with the FMLA.  The FMLA allows up to 12 weeks per year of unpaid leave if the employee is qualified.  To be qualified, the employee must:
  • have worked for at least 12 months, 

  • have worked for at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months, and 

  • be working at the employee's facility that has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius. 


Sufficient notice must also be given.  And unfortunately, the FMLA does not cover all reasons for leave.  Employees may only take leave for:

  • the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within 1 year of birth; 

  • the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within 1 year of placement; 

  • to care for the employee's spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition; 

  • a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job; 

  • any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on "covered active duty;" or 

  • 26 workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the eligble employee is the servicemember's spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave). 


(Taken from


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