The Family and Medical Leave Act, shortened to FMLA, is an area of the law that protects employees who required paid leave.Prior to the FMLA being passed, employees had less protection and fewer rights overpaid absences. There are now new rules about how much leave an employer is entitled to when they are going through family or medical-related issues.
As an employee, knowing your rights is essential, but the law can get confusing, especially since the FMLA has changed in recent years. Because of the confusion, employees are often hesitant to ask their employers for paid leave.
Knowing which issues warrant paid leave under the FMLA will make it easier for you to approach your employer. If you are dealing with ongoing family problems or a long-term medical condition, you could be entitled to several weeks of paid absence from work.
Under the FMLA, anything that counts as a serious health condition is valid for paid leave. This includes health conditions that impair or impact both physical and mental capacity to work. The act also covers leave for employees whose spouse, child, or parent are seriously ill.
Here are some of the most common reasons why people need to take family and medical leave.
After the birth of a child, new mothers can request paid leave under the FMLA so that they can take care of their newborn. Fathers can also request leave to look after their baby, especially if the mother is unable to do so due to pregnancy or childbirth-related complications.
In some cases, parental leave is granted in small blocks. Parents have up to 12 weeks of leave to take, and they can choose to spread this out over the course of several months with permission from their employer.
If both parents are employed by the same employer, it might be harder for both parents to get parental leave.
Paid leave might be offered for women who are pregnant, but this is not always the case. If a pregnant woman has been placed on bed rest by their doctor or is deemed to be unfit to work, they may be granted paid leave under the FMLA.
Employees who request to take leave during pregnancy might need a doctor’s note or a medical certificate to prove their reduced capacity for work.
When an employee has a serious health condition, they may be offered up to two weeks of paid medical leave. If an employee’s close relative is seriously ill and requires intensive care, they can request up to six weeks of paid leave under the FMLA to look after their family member.
Usually, paid leave is only available when it’s the spouse, child, or partner of the employee who requires ongoing care. For leave to be granted, the employee might need to show a medical certificate, but this will depend on what the employer requests.