The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is an essential law that permits workers to take time off to tend to personal or family health concerns without being concerned about job loss. The FMLA offers certain employees up to three months of job-protected, unpaid leave annually. This act also requires that the group health benefits for the worker be maintained during their leave from work. The law also states that companies can not retaliate against workers for exercising their rights according to the FMLA. If you live in California, here are some important things you should know about FMLA.
What is FMLA?
The Family and Medical Leave Act offers guaranteed leave from work for qualified employees who require time off to tend to a health condition or take care of a relative. Under the act, covered employees can take up to 12 weeks per year of unpaid leave if their reason for taking leave is covered under FMLA. Reasons include the birth of a child, caring for a relative with a serious medical condition, or adopting/fostering a child.
Who can benefit from FMLA?
Employees who can benefit from FMLA include people who work for public agencies, individuals who work at elementary and secondary schools, and companies that have at least 50 employees who work within a 75-mile radius of the company. Workers can take advantage of the FMLA if they have worked at least 1,250 hours for the company in the last year.
Under the FMLA, employers are not permitted to interfere with or prevent qualified employees from taking leave. This means that employers can no fire or discriminate against workers who exercise their FMLA rights. This protects workers who complain about illegal practices under the act or file charges pertaining to the act.