As an employee, you qualify for time off for various reasons, including medical leave. The New Jersey employment law attorney at the Law Offices of Usmaan Sleemi will tell you that according to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you qualify for up to 12 weeks of medical leave. NJ Prevailing Wage Act (state) and the Davis-Bacon Act (federal) also apply.
However, not every condition qualifies an employee for medical leave. Generally, the situations that qualify you for family leave include:
- The birth of a child,
- Severe health conditions, and
- An employee taking care of a loved one with a serious illness.
The following are details of when you qualify for medical leave under FMLA regulations:
Birth of a Child
The birth of a child is a reason that qualifies both parents to medical emergency leave under FMLA. The mother will take leave for prenatal care and take care of the child after it is born. In some cases, pregnancy itself qualifies as a severe health condition which could mean additional leave time.
A father also has a reason for medical leave after the birth of a child to take care of the child or the mother who is incapacitated after giving birth.
Parental leave does not have to be continuous. Based on the employer, the employee may spread their 12 weeks leave over the course of a year. The parents could also reduce their working hours accumulatively until it adds up to the accorded time.
Serious Health Condition
If you are suffering from a serious illness, you do qualify for medical emergency leave under FMLA. A serious health condition under FMLA is described as an illness or injury that makes you unable to do your job. The period of incapacity should be more than three days to qualify as a severe health condition. You should request medical leave if your condition requires prolonged care under a doctor’s supervision.
Another requirement for an illness or injury to be considered a severe health condition is that the situation must necessitate two or more visits to a doctor within 30 days of being incapacitated. Employees must show medical documents proving their illness by receiving treatment at least twice a year to be considered a severe health condition.
An employee could also request medical emergency leave if they have to take care of a loved one who has a severe health condition. The same requirements for a health condition described above apply to the loved one. Under FMLA regulations, only spouses, children, and parents are considered family members or loved ones.
Military Member Leave
If you have to take care of a family member who was injured or fell ill while on active duty in the military, you qualify for medical emergency leave.
However, you need to be eligible to qualify for leave to take care of a military member.
Adoption or Foster Care
If you adopt a child or take care of a child placed in foster care, you qualify for 12 weeks of medical leave under FMLA for up to one year after adopting the child or accepting them into your care. In conclusion, the above are the main ways you qualify for medical emergency leave under FMLA. Consult a lawyer or check out the Federal and Medical Leave Act for more details.