Sometimes there are situations in which an employee is unable to work because of personal health issues or those of a family member. Many people worry that taking extensive time off from work will cause them to lose their job or face repercussions when they get back to work. Fortunately, the United States government has enacted what is called the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This act helps millions of Americans get the time off they need without having to worry about unfair treatment from their employers.
What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?
Enacted in 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act allows certain employees of covered employers to take unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons. Under the FMLA, it is illegal for employers to retaliate or to demote a person for taking leave covered under the act. Under certain situations, employers are permitted to require their employees to use accrued paid leave, such as sick leave or vacation.
Covered Employers and Eligible Employees
There are certain criteria employers must meet in order to be subject to the FMLA. Employers covered by the FMLA include:
Private sector employers with 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year;
Public agencies, including local, state or federal government agencies, regardless of the number of employees; and
Public or private elementary or secondary schools, regardless of the number of employees.
Employees who are entitled to take FMLA leave include those who:
- Work for a covered employer;
- Have worked for a covered employer for at least 12 months;
- Have at least 1,250 hours of service; and
- Work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles.
Reasons to Take FMLA Leave
Eligible employees are permitted to take 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:
- The birth of a child or placement of a child for adoption or foster care;
- To care for a spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
- For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform his or her job; or
- Any qualifying situation arising from the fact that the employee’s spouse, child, or parent is a covered military member on covered active duty.
An Illinois Family and Medical Leave Act Litigation Attorney Can Help
If you are an employer who is subject to the FMLA, contact a Schaumburg, IL employment lawyer. At the Miller Law Firm, P.C., we can help settle any contract disputes you have with your employees regarding the FMLA. Contact our office today to see how we can help you find a solution that works for both you and your employees. Call us at 847-995-1205 to schedule a free consultation today.