While it is true that Americans tend to work long hours and that employers have not historically been very “family friendly,” those attitudes are starting to change.
In addition, the law is starting to see the benefit of requiring employers to provide workers with a certain degree of job protection.
The Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, for example, was passed in 1996 and allows an eligible worker who is working for a covered employer to take as specific amount of unpaid time off for certain family and medical reasons without the fear of losing his/her job.
LISTEN TO MY ADVICE IF YOU THINK YOUR FMLA RIGHTS HAVE BEEN VIOLATED
Although you have likely heard of the FMLA, there may be aspects of the law with which you are unfamiliar. Consider, therefore, the following 5 things you might not know about FMLA leave.
1. Hours worked requirement –
Not everyone is entitled to FMLA leave. Among the eligibility requirements you must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months and worked at least 1250 hours within the last 12 months.
2. Intermittent and reduced schedule leave –
If you are eligible for FMLA leave it does not always have to be taken all at once. You may be able to take it intermittently or you may be able to reduce your work schedule down to part-time under the FMLA rules.
3. Adoption or foster care –
FMLA leave is available for the birth of a child OR for the adoption of a child or for a newly placed foster child.
4. Military caregiver leave –
You could be entitled to double the amount of leave usually offered under FMLA leave, providing you with 26 weeks of leave, if you are caring for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if you are the servicemember’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin.
5. Key employee exception –
Usually, the FMLA rules require your employer to restore your job to you at the end of your FMLA qualified leave time; however, if you are a “key” employee your employer may be exempt from this requirement.
If restoration to employment will cause “substantial and grievous economic injury” to its operations, an employer may refuse to reinstate certain highly-paid, salaried “key” employees. Your employer is required to notify you of its intention to consider you a “key” employee.
If you have additional questions or concerns about FMLA leave or employment law in general, contact the experienced Florida employment law attorneys at Celler Legal, P.A. by calling 954-716-8601 or filling out the form on the right to request a no-cost consultation.