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What is the Family Medical Leave Act?

Having a baby is expensive.  There are diapers, formula, clothes and toys that will need to be purchased.  That is why it is important to know what your employer’s policy is about maternal and paternal leave.  It is also necessary to know what you are entitled to if you are lucky enough to work for a company with a leave program.

The first step toward securing the current Family Medical Leave Act was actually the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  It outlaws discrimination in hiring, promoting or firing based on sex as well as race.  Later legislation was added to prohibit discrimination based on color creed, and age in all aspects of employment including training, testing, wages apprenticeships and all terms of employment.

One of the new protected classes are pregnant women.  The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 implicitly states that you cannot be fired for being pregnant.  It also allows for special considerations made for those that are pregnant if they are unable to complete their jobs as previously understood.

Then in 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act was passed to give families a safety net.  It stipulates the following:

  • The FMLA applies to companies with fifty or more workers.
  • It allows for the employee to have up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave every year
  • It applies to those workers who have worked for a full year or have accumulated 1,250 or more over a 12 month period.
  • Employees must be allowed to regain their prior job or a similar positionThe FMLA allows eligible employees 12 weeks of leave without pay each year to care for babies, sick children or spouses or parents.

If you need help with the any of the intricacies of the Family Medical Leave Act or certifying your claim, then you should seek out the assistance of a legal professional.  Contact an experienced employment lawyer in Schaumburg today if you would like to follow the FMLA guidelines.  

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