A common concern for Indiana workers is what they will do if they or a loved one becomes ill with a serious health condition and time off from work is needed. Returning to full health should be the priority, but it is natural to be worried about how an absence will impact job status. Employers are required to give covered employees time off based on the Family and Medical Leave Act. If they do not, it could be the basis for a legal filing.
The basic requirements for FMLA eligibility
Understanding the basics of eligibility and how serious health conditions are accounted for under FMLA is essential. This is especially true if an employer refuses to allow an employee to take time off without penalizing or even dismissing that person. Workers whose employers are covered by FMLA and have 50 or more employees can use FMLA. Also, the worker must have worked for that employer for a minimum of 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months.
For serious health conditions, the worker can be suffering from the issue or it can be a spouse, a parent or a child. To qualify for FMLA, the condition generally fall into certain categories. If the condition requires an overnight stay in a medical facility or hospital, there will likely be FMLA eligibility. When it is an incapacitating condition and the person cannot work or attend school for more than three days in a row with the need for ongoing medical treatment, FMLA time off is available. Chronic conditions where the person needs treatment a minimum of two times each year can warrant FMLA time. Finally, a pregnancy and incapacitation related to it suffices for FMLA use.
Knowing what to do if an employer refuses to allow FMLA time off
While FMLA is the law and workers who meet the criteria to be eligible have the right to use it, that does not mean employers will be agreeable. In fact, some can subtly or overtly threaten an employee’s job or penalize that employee for using FMLA. With the current health challenges gripping the nation and people in need of time off to get treatment or care for loved ones for a variety of illnesses and reasons year-round, FMLA can be vital. If there is a dispute about it, a legal filing may be necessary to get what is owed and seek compensation for wrongdoing. Calling a firm experienced in FMLA and employment law can provide guidance as to how to proceed.