FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT (FMLA)
The FMLA grants covered employees at certain workplaces up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period. The FMLA covers the birth and care of a newborn child of the employee, the placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care, care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition, and/or necessary medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.
The FMLA is in addition to any paid time off available to an employee. Employees may substitute annual and/or sick leave for any unpaid leave under the FMLA. Employees are not entitled to be paid for their time off under the FMLA.
RETURNING TO WORK
When employees return to work after FMLA leave, they must be returned to the same or equivalent position as when they left the workplace. This includes equivalent compensation, benefits, and status, as well as other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. As long as employees pay their share of health care premiums on a current basis or agree to pay the premiums upon return to work, employers may not take health benefits coverage away from employees on FMLA leave.
NOTIFYING YOUR EMPLOYER
Where possible, employees should notify their employer of their intent to take medical leave at least 30 days prior to the day on which leave is scheduled to begin. In case of emergency, employees should notify their employer as early as possible. Employers are allowed to request medical certification if an employee is leaving either due to a serious health condition or in order to care for a spouse or other immediate family member with a serious health condition.
If you think that your employer has violated your FMLA rights, you may benefit from a consultation with an attorney at the Zipin Law Firm.