Many countries have adopted laws that allow parents to take the time off of work that they need to raise a child, take care of an illness or attend to a sick relative. The United States is a little behind other countries on this matter, but we have The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a law that allows employees to take anywhere from 12 weeks to 12 months off of work for a variety of reasons. It also ensures that the employee will return to their original job or be given an equivalent one.
To be eligible, you have to:
- Work for a covered employer for at least 12 months. The total hours worked in that time have to add up to 1,250.
- Your employment location has 50 employees.
There are a range of reasons you can ask for leave under the FMLA. Your employer must give a minimum of 12 weeks if your request falls under one of the following criteria:
- You are giving birth to a child or taking care of your newborn.
- You are taking on an adoptive or foster care child.
- Your spouse, parent or child has a serious medical condition that requires your attention.
- You have a serious medical condition.
- You have a “qualifying exigency,” which means you’re active duty in the National Guard or Reserve.
If you need help filing for leave under the FMLA or you’ve been wrongly denied, an experienced employees’ rights attorney may be able to take your case and help you get a resolution.