What does FMLA stand for?

You probably heard the initials FMLA before, but you were not sure how it related to you and your family.

I am going to explain how this law applies to you and your loved ones.

The initials FMLA  stands for the Family Medical Leave Act.  Congress passed the act and the President signed the act into law in 1993.

Sudden hospital visitCredit: Google Image

FMLA definition:

The purpose of the law is to protect your job while you take care of a sick family member or yourself, but there are many requirements to meet.

FMLA eligible requirements:

  • work for a covered employer
  • have worked for the employer for 12 months
  • have worked at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months
  • worked in the United States, or a territory, possession of the U.S. where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer with in 75 miles.Loved onesCredit: Google Image.

What is a covered employer?

A covered employer is an employer that has employed 50 or more employees in 20 work weeks in the current or preceding year.

How you can take advantage of the law?

FMLA entitlements:

As a covered employee you are eligible to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12 month period for specified family or medical emergency or any qualifying exigency arising from a covered military member on active duty, or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty, in support of a contingency operation.  The FMLA also allows eligible employees to take up to 26 workweeks of job-protected leave in a “single 12-month period” to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness.

Is FMLA  time paid?

The act protects your job, but it does not guarantee you any extra pay.  If you have some sick or vacation leave accumulated you can opt to get paid during the time you are away from work.

Some people believe the law obligates the employer to pay them for their time.  This is a myth because your employer is only required by law to hold your job.

Do you receive holiday pay during FMLA?

The employer has the total discretion to pay you holiday pay according to their compensation policy.  If the employer chooses to pay you holiday pay your FMLA time is not extended.  You are still only entitled to 12 weeks not 12 weeks and one day.

FMLA eligible life events:

  • for the birth and care of a newborn child of the employee; (men are covered as well)
  • for placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care;
  • to care for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition;
  • to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition;or
  • for qualifying exigencies arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on active duty or call to active duty status as a member of the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation.

Stress and Depression

Your doctor/therapist needs to diagnose you suffering from stress and you have difficulties performing your duties.  Depression is a disease treated with medication so it should be easier to document.

FMLA and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):

When employees are injured or become disable at work they are covered by provisions of both laws and they have coverage under the Worker's Compensation Insurance.

The FMLA is enforced by the Wage and Hour division of the DOL.

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