FMLA - What is it? How does it work?

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What is FMLA?  How does it work?
The Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows ”eligible” employees to take off up to 12 work weeks in any 12 month period for the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a family member, or if the employee himself has serious health condition.

An “eligible” employee is an employee who has been employed by the employer for at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours.  For teachers, a school year is considered to be the accepted time for eligibility.

FMLA can be taken on an intermittent basis allowing the employee to work on a less than full-time schedule.

The employee also has the right to return to the same or equivalent position, pay, and benefits.

The employee is entitled to have their benefits maintained.

The eligible employee must provide 30 day advance notice for foreseeable events. The employer is allowed to ask the employee to obtain a certification from a medical provider which explains the reason for the leave.  Upon completion of the leave, the employer is allowed to require the employee to obtain a certification of fitness to return to work when the leave was due to the employee’s own health concerns.

If a married couple both work for the same employer, the allowable leave is a combined 12 weeks.  Each employee is not entitled to the 12 weeks. 

For personal information and questions, please contact your union FMLA representative.

For additional information, follow the following link to the Department of Labor website: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/benefits-leave/fmla.htm