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What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?

The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal law that provides certain employees with the ability to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period for specific personal or familial medical reasons. As part of this unpaid leave, employees are granted continued group health insurance coverage, as well.

Numerous personal and medical situations are covered by the FMLA. Examples include the birth and care of a newborn, the adoption and care of a child, an immediate family member's medical condition, a health condition that impedes the employee's ability to do their job, and serious medical situations stemming from an immediate family member's service in the military.

 


Learn more about the Family and Medical Leave Act

When do I need to be aware of the Family and Medical Leave Act?

The FMLA covers serious health conditions relating to the employee and their immediate family. If an employee or their spouse is pregnant, it's essential to know how the FMLA may help them beyond any set company policy for employees with newborn or adopted children. Furthermore, if an employee is having difficulty conducting their duties due to their or their immediate family member's health situation, the FMLA may provide them the ability to focus on self- or family-care while also maintaining their needed insurance coverage.

What is important to know about the Family and Medical Leave Act?

To be eligible for continued insurance and extended leave under the FMLA, employees must meet certain criteria:

  • They must work either at a public agency, such as a school or governmental department, or for a private-sector employer that employed at least 50 people for at least 20 workweeks in the current or previous calendar year.
  • They must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to taking leave.
  • They must have worked 12 months for their employer, though the 12 months do not need to be consecutive.