The Basics of FMLA

The Basics of FMLA

August, 2021

It was in 1993 when Congress passed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Today, the important piece of legislation is still helping employees throughout Ohio, and the entire country, balance their work and family life and take care of what is most important to them. If you need to take leave from work to care for yourself or a loved one, you should know if you qualify for FMLA leave, and what the law entails.

What is the FMLA?

The FMLA is a federal law that allows some employees in the country to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. The leave is job-protected, meaning that when employees are ready to return to work, they have the right to expect that their same position, or a similar position with equal pay, is available to them. When employees have accrued or earned other forms of leave benefits for family caregivers, parents, or medical reasons, appropriate paid leave is sometimes available as a substitution.

Who is Eligible for FMLA Leave?

Approximately 56% of all workers in the country qualify for FMLA leave. Unfortunately, not all employees are eligible. To qualify, employers must:

  • Have been employed for the same employer for a minimum of one year,
  • Have worked 1,250 hours or more during the same year,
  • Live within 75 miles of their place of work, and
  • Work for a business or employer that has had at least 50 employees for a minimum of 20 weeks during the current or prior year

Public employees that work at schools or local, state, and federal agencies also qualify for FMLA leave, regardless of how many employees work for the employer.

What are Common Reasons for Taking FMLA Leave?

To qualify for FMLA leave, an employee must also be taking leave for a specific reason. The qualifying reasons are as follows:

  • To care for an infant within one year of their birth,
  • To care for a child that has been adopted or fostered, as long as the leave is taken within a year of the placement,
  • To care for a child, parent, or spouse that is suffering from a serious medical condition,
  • To care for themselves if the employee is suffering from a serious medical condition, and
  • Any urgent need that arises due to the fact that the employee’s parent, child, or spouse is a member of the military and on active covered duty

FMLA leave may be taken all at once, or the employee can take the leave intermittently. Sometimes, a full-time employee may take partial leave and work on a part-time basis.

Our FMLA Lawyers in Ohio Can Help with Your Case

If you need to take FMLA leave, or your employer has denied your rightful leave, our Ohio FMLA lawyers at Marshall & Forman, LLC, can help you exercise your rights. Call us now or fill out our online to request a consultation with one of our attorneys and to learn more about how we can assist with your case.