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Who is covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects employees who need to leave work for up to 12 weeks per year without risking losing their job. The law, which was created at the federal level, also requires that employers keep an employee's health benefits active while the employee is on leave, just like if he or she was still on the job.

The FMLA applies to all employers who have 50 or more employees who worked at least 20 weeks during any given year. All federal, state and local agencies as well as schools, must offer FMLA leave to their employees -- no matter the size of their staff.

In order to be covered under FMLA you must first work for a company that is required to offer the leave. If you do, you must have worked for the company for at least 12 months. During the 12-month period, the employee must have worked at least a total of 1,250 hours. The job of the person looking to take the leave must be at a location where there are at least 50 employees or with 75 miles of such a place.

Employers are required to grant leave under FMLA to employees who have any of the following conditions:

  • Employee has to care for a family member who suffers from a serious medical condition.
  • Employee has a serious medical condition that prevents him or her from working.
  • Birth of the employee's child.
  • Adoption of a child by the employee.

Have FMLA questions? An experienced attorney can help you get the answers you seek when it comes to the FMLA and all it covers.

Source: FindLaw, "What is FMLA? FAQ on Federal Leave Law," accessed Aug. 11, 2017

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