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IMG_0803The Family and Medical Leave Acts is a federal law that protects covered workers when they need to take time off work for an eligible family or medical emergency.

Prior to the enactment of the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, workers typically risked the loss of their job when an emergency required the employee to miss a substantial amount of time from work.

The FMLA allows you to take unpaid time off of work while protecting your job and benefits for the duration of your leave.

If you have never used FMLA leave before you may have a number of questions about the law, such as “Can my employer move me to a different job when I return from FMLA leave?”



The FMLA allows covered employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for:

  • the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
  • the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
  • to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
  • a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;
  • any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty.”

Up to 26 workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period may be taken to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the service member’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).

Contrary to what many people believe, the law does not actually require your employer to hold your exact position open for your during your leave.

The law does, however, require your employer to allow you to return to the same, or substantially similar, position. If your employer is not able to return you to the exact same position, your new position must:

  • involve the same or substantially similar duties, responsibilities, and status;
  • include the same general level of skill, effort, responsibility and authority;
  • offer identical pay, including equivalent premium pay, overtime and bonus opportunities;
  • offer identical benefits (such as life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, sick leave, vacation, educational benefits, pensions, etc.); and offer the same general work schedule and be at the same (or a nearby) location.

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.