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What The Family & Medical Leave Act Means For You

The Family & Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") provides important protections for employees. Here is a general overview of what the FMLA means for you as an employee, but keep in mind the FMLA is considerably more detailed than what I've given you here. Employer coverage. The FMLA only applies to employers with 50 or more employees for each working day during each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding year. Employee eligibility. An employee is only eligible for FMLA leave if employed for at least 12 months with the employer and having worked at least 1250 hours during that period. However, if the worksite where the employee is employed employs less than 50 employees and the total number of employees employed by that employer within 75 miles of that worksite is less than 50, the employee is not eligible for FMLA leave. Leave. An eligible employee may take up to 12 workweeks of leave during any 12-month period of time for one or more of the following reasons:

1. The birth of one's baby and to care for the newborn.

2. The placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care.

3. To care for one's spouse, son, daughter or parent who has a serious health condition.

4. Because of the employee's serious health condition.

5. For certain exigencies related to an employee's son, daughter or parent's active duty in the Armed Forces.

Returning from leave. An employer must restore an employee returning from FMLA leave to the same or equivalent position with the equivalent benefits, pay and other terms and conditions and of employment. No interference or discrimination. An employer cannot interfere with an employee's exercise of his rights under the FMLA nor may an employer discriminate against an individual for participating or testifying in an FMLA proceeding or opposing an employer's unlawful conduct under the FMLA. Remedies. An employee whose FMLA rights are violated may recover wages, salary, employment benefits and other economic losses suffered, an additional equivalent amount as liquidated damages, and attorney's fees. Reinstatement is also a remedy. Hopefully, this helps give you a general understanding of how the FMLA works. GSF

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