Family medical leave (FMLA) is available for when a dependent member of an employee's family is ill or injured and needs support with their recovery; it is also available in case of a medical emergency within a family.
When deciding on whether or not to take family medical leave, the first step would be to assess whether or not the employee is eligible to apply for family medical leave. Employees who have been with the same employer for more than a year, or those who have worked 1250 hours or more within a 12 month period are eligible to apply. Employees with 50 or more colleagues by the same employer are also allowed to apply for family medical leave benefits.
Individuals who are within the top ten percent of a company’s salary range are often not entitled to family medical leave, due to their important positions within the company.
Family medical leave covers any medical condition that constitutes a hospital stay, a health care facility stay, or ongoing treatment for a disease or health condition by a health care provider. If a family member is admitted to hospital for a day or more, or if a family member has to undergo surgery, an employee may also be entitled to family medical leave. Other possible reasons for being permitted to take family medical leave include the birth of child, or placement of a child into adoption or foster care. Another factor for family medical leave coverage is if the employee's child, spouse or parent is critically ill and that is when they can apply for a family medical leave to take care of their loved one. Sometimes, family medical leave can be permitted to allow parent and baby bonding after the birth of a child, but this should be determined by an employer, or by a highly qualified FMLA lawyer.
Within a twelve month period, no more than twelve weeks of leave can be taken. How this is taken is up to the employee. It can be taken all at once, or it can be taken intermittently, depending on the individual`s circumstances.
There are two reasons that an employee might need to take medical leave, and depending on the circumstances, there are different ways to apply for family medical leave.
If the leave is planned, due to upcoming medical treatment or surgery that the employee is aware of, they must advise their employer of how much medical leave would be required for the treatment and recovery. For unplanned leave, due to a medical emergency, the employee must provide a detailed reasoning for the medical leave to their employer so that they can determine how long their leave might need to last. This might include providing the employer with medical documentation describing the reason for the leave. Although every employee has a right to privacy in regards to their personal lives and the health issues of themselves and their family members, it is advised that this information is disclosed confidentially to their employer, as their lack of knowledge could lead to the refusal of family medical leave. Providing their employer with as much information as possible would safeguard the employee against any issues that might arise due to requiring time away from the workplace.
If an employer asks for a medical document or letter for a medical professional as proof that family medical leave is required, it is the employer’s duty to pay the fees.
The California FMLA constitutes a period of time, which is greater than the California Family Rights Leave Act, in which a lawsuit can be filed. If the violation occurred less than a year ago, the Family Rights Leave Act is under effect as opposed to the FMLA. The employee has rights to both which is a detail most employers do not usually know. However, it is important to discuss your particular case with one of our lawyers before deciding upon which legal route to take.
Call us now and speak directly with a family medical leave discrimination lawyer at 1-559-478-8826.
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