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Facts About the Family and Medical Leave Act

Guha Law Feb. 16, 2022

If you are an employee in California, you may need to take family medical leave from time to time, such as if you or a member of your family has a serious health condition. Your employer may be required by federal law to give you time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

What Is the FMLA?

The Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, is a federal law that requires employers with at least 50 employees to provide unpaid leave to eligible employees for certain family and medical reasons. The legislation also requires employers to maintain group health insurance for employees who are on leave. The FMLA applies to all public agencies, including state and local government entities, as well as all private-sector employers that employ 50 or more people.

Who Qualifies for FMLA Leave?

In order to qualify for FMLA leave, you must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months. Additionally, you must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months. You must work at a jobsite where your employer employs at least 50 people, and you must live within 75 miles of that location.

When Should You Request FMLA Leave?

It is important to note that in most cases, you must give your employer at least 30 days’ notice before taking FMLA leave. However, if the reason for requesting leave is unforeseen or unexpected, such as a sudden medical emergency, then you may be able to take leave without giving any advance notice. If this is the case, you should notify your employer as soon as possible.

If you think you may need to take a family medical leave, be sure to familiarize yourself with the FMLA. Qualifying for leave under the law can help ensure that you and your loved ones have the time you need to recover from a serious health condition or a child joining your family.