Family & Medical Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act requires that companies with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius provide employees who have been on the job more than one year and 1,250 hours with up to 12 weeks’ unpaid leave to care for a spouse, child, elderly parent, or to recover from their own serious health conditions.  Upon completion of leave, the employee must be restored to his or her prior position or one that is substantially similar.

Understanding FMLA Laws

FMLA laws state that when an employee needs to take leave for a foreseeable condition (i.e., an upcoming surgery), the employee ordinarily must give 30 days’ advanced notice of the need for leave.  For emergency or unforeseeable conditions, notice must be given as soon as is practical under the circumstances of the case.  If the employer has a designated number or person to call to request Family and Medical Act leave, the employee should contact that number or individual in order to avoid delay or even denial of medical leave approval.  Once notice of the need for family medical leave is given, FMLA laws provide the employer with five business days to notify the employee whether or not he or she is eligible for Family and Medical Leave Act leave.

The Family and Medical Leave Act also allows an employer to request limited medical information to verify the need for leave.  An employer may request that a medical provider complete a medical certification describing the condition for which leave is sought, when the condition started, the employee is unable to perform the core functions of his or job because of the medical condition, and the approximate date on which the employee can return to work.  If the employer requests a medical certification, it must do so within 5 business days of receiving the request for leave.  The employee then has 15 days to return the completed medical certification to the employer.  Failure to timely return a completed medical certification can result in the delay or denial of leave.

If you have questions about FMLA laws or family law, attorney Mark Herron has extensive experience assisting individuals and small businesses in navigating the FMLA and ever-changing procedural compliance requirements.  Call today for a free consultation.

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