The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave a year, and requires group health benefits to be maintained during the leave as if the employee continued to work instead of taking leave. Employees are also entitled to return to their same or an equivalent job at the end of their FMLA leave.
Eligible employees may take up to 12 workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:
• The birth of a son or daughter or placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care;
• To care for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition;
• For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job; or
• For any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a military member on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status.
The FMLA applies to all government employers and private sector employers who employ 50 or more employees for at least 20 workweeks in a calendar year.
In order to be eligible to take leave under the FMLA, an employee must have worked for an employer full time (at least 1,250 hours) during the last 12 months prior to the start of leave.
The FMLA also provides certain military family leave entitlements. Eligible employees may take FMLA leave for specified reasons related to certain military deployments of their family members. Additionally, they may take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness.
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