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The Family and Medical Leave Act guarantees that covered employees can take time off if they have a medical or a family situation. 

If you work for a government or public sector employee, you can take advantage of the benefits provided by the FMLA.

If you work in the private sector and your employer has at least 50 employees working within 75 miles of where you work, you should also be covered by the FMLA.

If you have a medical problem or if you have a qualifying family situation, you need to understand your rights under the FMLA and an experienced attorney can help you to get the time off that you need and can represent you if your employer violates the laws. 


FMLA Guarantees Time Off

 If you have worked for an employer for at least a year and the employer is covered by the FMLA, you may take time off for a qualifying event provided you have clocked in at least 1,240 working hours in the 12 months prior to taking the leave.

Qualifying events include:


  • The birth of a newborn baby. You can take time off within a year of the baby’s birth.  Both mothers and fathers are eligible.
  • The adoption of a child or a foster child being placed in your care. Both mothers and fathers can take time off within a year of the placement or adoption.
  • A spouse, parent or child becoming sick. If your relative needs medical care, you can take time off to provide it.
  • A serious health condition. You may also take time off because of your own medical problems.
  • A qualifying event with an active duty military relative. You may take time off for spouses, children or parents who are on covered active duty.
  • A military family member becoming sick or injured. If you have a service member who is your next of kin, you can take 26 weeks off to provide care over a one-year period.


The FMLA generally allows you to take 12 weeks off of the course of the year to deal with any qualifying events other than the sickness or injury of a military family member.

The 12 weeks can be taken consecutively, intermittently or in blocks of time each workday.

Your job conditions and benefits must not be affected and you must be able to return to your old position or an equivalent job after your leave is over.

FMLA leave is unpaid, and there is no requirement that your employer provide any paid time off or disability leave. However, your employer must maintain your group health coverage under the same terms as if you were actively working.

An experienced attorney at Richard Celler Legal, P.A. can help if your employer denies you any benefits guaranteed by the FMLA. Call today to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team to learn more.