When Can My Employees Use FMLA Leave?

A Monmouth County Business Attorney Explains the Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is one of the most influential components of modern business law. Under this legislation, employees of medium-sized and larger companies can take unpaid time off to attend to personal or family medical needs. Although this law offers numerous benefits for both employees and employers, it is essential for business owners to understand their rights under this act to avoid potential conflicts.

Are My Employees Eligible to Use the FMLA?

The Department of Labor states that all companies with 50 or more employees are subject to the Family and Medical Leave Act. There are certain points of criteria that an employee must meet to be eligible for FMLA leave. The employee must:

  • Work for your company for at least 12 months
  • Work at least 1,250 hours (effectively 25 hours a week) in the 12 months before beginning their FMLA leave
  • Work at an office or location where at least 50 other people are employed, or an office that has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile vicinity

The FMLA guarantees leave for only select circumstances, and it is beneficial to ensure that your employees understand this before they make their leave requests. An eligible employee may only take leave for the following reasons:

  • Pregnancy, which includes situations related to pregnancy, such as prenatal screenings, illness due to morning sickness and any medically-mandated bed rest
  • Severe health conditions or for the hospitalization of an immediate family member (this includes parents, children and spouses)
  • Overnight hospital stays
  • Serious medical procedures
  • Making preparations for or receiving an adopted child

If an employee attempts to use their leave for non-family or medical purposes, or if they fail to give the proper notice of 30 days, employers may deny their request. However, nobody should risk undergoing employment litigation over a denied FMLA request. Your Monmouth County business lawyer can help you create FMLA request guidelines, which ensures that your employees understand both their rights and obligations under the act.

We Offer Experienced Legal Counsel for Your Business Law Needs

If you are in need of legal counsel concerning the FMLA or other employment litigation, contact Garland & Mason, L.L.C. today. Each of our clients receives the benefit of consulting with experienced Monmouth County business attorneys regarding any problem their company may face.

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