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Facing a serious family emergency or medical crisis is difficult enough without also having to worry about losing your job because of the emergency or crisis. Fortunately, your job may be protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, if you find yourself facing this all too common dilemma. If you plan to use FMLA leave you may have a number of questions about eligibility and the process and general. For example, you may be wondering “ What and when do I need to tell my employer if I plan to take FMLA leave? ” As is often the case with complex federal or state employment laws, it is always best to consult with an experienced Florida employment law attorney for individualized guidance and specific answers to employment law questions; however, some general information about the process of requesting FMLA leave may also be helpful.

First, you need to determine that you qualify for FMLA leave and that your employer is a covered employer. You may be eligible for FMLA leave if all of the following are true:

  • You work for a covered employer;
  • You have worked for the employer for at least 12 months;
  • You have at least 1,250 hours of service for the employer during the 12 month period immediately preceding the leave; and
  • You work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles.

Some general rules and guidelines also apply with regard to requesting FMLA leave, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • You must request leave 30 days in advance when the need for leave is foreseeable.
  • When leave is requested on an emergency basis, you must request it as soon as possible and practicable under the circumstances.
  • You must follow your employer’s usual and customary requirements for requesting leave.
  • You must provide enough information and/or documentation for your employer to determine if you are entitled to leave.
  • The first time you request leave you are not required to specifically mention or request FMLA leave; however, for a second or subsequent request you do need to specifically reference FMLA leave.
  • You must provide certification of the health condition for which the leave is requested. Your employer may request, and you must provide, a second or third medical opinion (at the employer’s expense) as well.

If you are requesting intermittent or reduced schedule FMLA leave you should try and work out a schedule with your employer as far ahead of time as possible.

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 to schedule your appointment.