Medical Leave Under The Family Medical Leave Act

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period to eligible employees to care for newborns, newly adopted children, seriously family members, to recover from their own serious health conditions (including pregnancy), or to deal with certain obligations (such as child care and related activities) that arise when a spouse, parent or child is called or on active military duty. The FMLA also provides for 26 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to employees to care for a spouse, child or parent who is a seriously ill service member if the injury or illness was sustained during active military duty. For more information, go to the U.S. Department of Labor’s webpage here.

The FMLA prohibits the discriminatory treatment of an employee who takes FMLA leave, the denial of a request for FMLA leave, and retaliation for taking FMLA leave. With some exceptions, when an employee returns from FMLA leave, an employer is obligated to reinstate that person to the position held before taking leave or to a position with equivalent pay and benefits. If your employer does not meet these obligations, consult with an experienced employment lawyer who can help you defend your rights.