5 Things You Should Know About the FMLA

  1. FMLA
  2. 5 Things You Should Know About the FMLA
Family and Medical Leave Act

Family and Medical Leave Act Regulations Aren’t Universal

Not all employers and employees are affected by the FMLA, Family and Medical Leave Act. Here’s how the law defines covered employers:

  • A private-sector company that had 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks this calendar year or the previous calendar year
  • Public agencies, such as local, state, or federal government agencies, with one or more employees
  • Public or private elementary or secondary schools with one or more employees

The law defines eligible employee as:

  • One who has worked for a covered employer for at least 12 months (which do not have to be continuous)
  • One who has worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months preceding the leave (approximately 156 eight-hour days)
  • One who works at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius

2. Six Qualifying FMLA Events

Not every family medical situation qualifies under the FMLA. Here are six common events that are covered:

  • The birth of a child
  • Time to bond with a newborn
  • When a child is placed with the employee for foster care or adoption
  • When the employee, or his or her spouse, son, daughter or parent, has a serious health condition
  • Demands that arise when a son, daughter, spouse or parent is a military member on active duty
  • Caring for a service member with a serious injury or illness, when the service member is the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin.

3. Defining a Serious Health Condition

Under the FMLA, a serious health condition is an injury, illness or impairment, either physical or mental that involves:

  • Any period of incapacity or treatment resulting from a stay in a hospital or medical care facility
  • A period of incapacity that requires more than three days off from work and involves continuing treatment by a healthcare provider
  • Any period of incapacity stemming from pregnancy or for prenatal care
  • Any period of incapacity from a chronic health condition, terminal illness, or long-term or permanent condition
  • Absences due to multiple treatments for conditions or illnesses that would result in more than three days of incapacity if left untreated.

4. Periodic Visits are Sometimes Required Under the FMLA, employers may require certification from a healthcare provider, as well as periodic recertification of serious health conditions:

  • Periodic visits need to occur at least twice per year
  • Employees must provide the medical certification, and if the condition is chronic, they must specify whether there will be periodic visits, during which the provider will determine the severity of the condition

5. FMLA Military Regulations

The FMLA allows up to 26 workweeks h1 leave in a single 12-month period to care for a service member with a serious injury or illness, when the service member is the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin of the employee. In addition, it allows eligible employees to take leave for certain post-deployment exigencies for a period of 90 days following the termination of active duty status.

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