Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

This act applies to organizations with at least 50 part-time or full-time individuals during at least 20 weeks in the current or proceeding calendar year within a 75-mile radius.

The act requires organizations to provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, protected leave for specified family or medical reasons, including the following:

  • The birth, adoption, or placement of a child.
  • The care of a spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition (as defined by the FMLA).
  • The employee’s own serious health condition.
  • A qualifying exigency arising out of a covered family member’s active duty or call to active duty in the Armed Forces in support of a contingency plan.
  • The care of a covered family member who has become seriously ill or seriously injured in the line of duty in the Armed Forces.

In some circumstances, employers must provide up to 26 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to employees caring for service members recovering from a serious injury or illness in the line of duty in the Armed Forces of the United States.

The FMLA requires that, upon returning to work, an employee be restored to his or her previous position or to an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment.

In order to be eligible under the FMLA, the employee must have been employed for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours within the previous 12-month period. Religious organizations aren’t exempt from this act.

FMLA Resources: