Family emergencies can demand your attention during a work year. When this happens, you could request a leave from your employer under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This program allows you to take time off work without pay for several reasons provided in the act.
Your family leave act eligibility determines whether you qualify for family leave. Not every employer, employee, or reason for taking time off work is protected under the FMLA.
If you have questions concerning your eligibility, the New Jersey Employment Law Attorneys at the Law Offices of Usmaan Sleemi can help you.
FMLA leave is provided on a federal level. While it covers a wide range of employees and circumstances, not everyone will qualify for the leave. Overall, FMLA eligibility is determined through the following criteria:
50 Employees within a 75 Mile Radius
Public agencies like federal and state governments are not subject to this rule. Most federal employees automatically qualify for FMLA leave. Public sector employers, on the other hand, must satisfy the ’50-employee’ rule. They must have employees at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius of the worksite every working day during the previous year.
This rule applies to individual branches. Even if employees in the headquarters qualify for FMLA, those from a smaller branch might be ineligible.
12-Months of Employment
Even if an employer qualifies for FMLA, the eligibility of employees at the worksite might vary. The second criterion that should be met is called the ’12-month’ rule. You must have been employed by your employer for 12 months to qualify for FMLA. While these months need not be consecutive, breaks of seven or more years are not counted as part of your service.
1,250 Hours of Service
Finally, the total hours you have worked for your employer should total 1,250. This does not include holidays, vacations, sick days, or leave. Also, the hours of service must have been achieved within 12 months before you apply.
Even if you qualify for FMLA, not every reason is protected under the act. For instance, you cannot take time off work under the provision to go on vacation. This means that you should confirm your reason for requesting leave is provided for in the act before proceeding with your application.
Under the FMLA, an employee can take time off work for the following:
- To care for a newborn child.
- To prepare for an upcoming birth.
- To prepare for adoption or foster care placement.
- To care for a family member with a severe health condition, including a child, spouse, or parent.
- To care for your own serious health condition. In some cases, you might require medical certification, which shows you cannot perform essential duties.
Consult a New Jersey Employment Law Attorney
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects your right to take time off work for specific reasons. However, it is important to discuss your family leave act eligibility with your employer and an attorney before applying for leave. Doing so will ensure you don’t break any company policies.
If you feel your employer has unjustly denied you leave from work, you can take legal action. You can also seek help if you lose your job or are demoted for redeeming your leave days. Contact the New Jersey Employment Law Attorneys at the Law Offices of Usmaan Sleemi at (973) 453-4060.