The Family Medical Leave Act provides eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave a year whether you are unable to work because of your own serious health condition or because you need to care for a family member with a serious health condition.
Reason for the Request
Your request for FMLA leave must be for one of the following reasons:
- The birth of a son or daughter or the care of a newborn child,
- The placement of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care,
- To care for your spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition,
- A serious health condition that makes you unable to do your job,
- Any urgent need from the fact that your spouse, son, daughter, or parent in the Armed Forces is on active duty or has been notified of an upcoming call to active duty.
If you take FMLA leave, your health insurance coverage continues as if you were not on leave.
Upon return from FMLA leave, you will be placed in the same job or an equivalent position with status, benefits, and other employment terms and conditions restored.
An employer may not interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided under FMLA. An employer cannot discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by the FMLA or involvement in any proceeding under or related to FMLA.
To be eligible for FMLA leave you must meet the following criteria:
- Have worked for your employer for at least 12 months; and
- Have worked for your employer for at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months before you are taking leave; and
- Work at a location where your employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles of your worksite.
You can take FMLA leave as either a single block of time or in multiple, smaller blocks of time (occasionally) if medically necessary or on a reduced leave schedule. Leave due to urgent military need may also be taken in broken up periods of time.
If you have sick, annual, or personal time available you may use that time, along with FMLA leave so that you continue to get paid. To use paid leave for FMLA, you must comply with the normal paid leave rules and policies.
How Do I Request FMLA Leave?
To take FMLA leave you must provide your supervisor with as much notice as possible. If you know in advance that you will need FMLA leave, you must give 30-days’ advance notice. If it is not possible to give 30-days’ notice, you must notify your supervisor as soon as possible. You also need to comply with your normal call-in procedure.
You need to inform your supervisor if your situation changes while you are out. For example, if your doctor deems that you can return to work before your expected return date. Your supervisor can require periodic updates on your status and when you will return to work.
Your employer must notify you if you are eligible for FMLA leave within five business days of your first leave request and how much of your FMLA leave will be charged against your accruals. If you are not eligible, they must give you at least one reason in writing. When you receive your eligibility notice you also receive a notice of your rights and responsibilities under FMLA. If your supervisor requests medical documentation, you have 15 days to provide it otherwise your FMLA leave usage can be denied.
Contact the BSC Benefits Team
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