What Does the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Say About Your Rights?
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees with protection for taking time off of work to care for themselves or their family members. The FMLA entitles you to take unpaid, job-protected leave for up to 12 weeks in a row each year. This entitlement can be used by parents who need time off following the birth or adoption of a child; it can also be used by people who need time off to take care of an ill spouse, parent, son, daughter, or sibling.
What is FMLA Leave?
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a United States federal law that allows employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave for up to 12 weeks in a row each year. Eligible employees can use FMLA leave to care for themselves or a family member.
Who is Eligible for FMLA Leave?
In order to be eligible for FMLA leave, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months.
- You must have worked 1,250 hours during the 12-month period prior to taking leave.
- Your employer must have 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius.
Your employer is not required to offer FMLA leave if it employs fewer than 50 people.
What's the Difference Between FMLA/Paid Family and Medical Leave?
The FMLA entitles you to take unpaid, job-protected leave for up to 12 weeks in a row each year.
Paid family and medical leave (also known as PFML) is a state-based program that provides employees with some income replacement when they take time off to care for a new child or an ill loved one. This means even if your employer is not covered by the FMLA, you still may be eligible for leave under state law.
FMLA Leave By State
Some states have their own family and medical leave laws that provide employees with more leave time or broader eligibility than the FMLA. To find out more about your state's leave laws, select your state from the list below:
What are the Benefits of FMLA Leave?
FMLA entitles you to take unpaid leave for up to 12 weeks in a row each year. This leave can be used for any of the following reasons:
- To care for a newborn child or an adopted child.
- To care for a family member who has a serious health condition.
- To take medical leave due to your own serious health condition.
During your FMLA leave, your employer must continue to provide you with the same level of health insurance coverage that you received before taking leave. Additionally, while on FMLA leave, you are entitled to return to the same or an equivalent job at the end of your leave.
How to Request FMLA Leave Yourself
Applying for FMLA leave can be confusing if you're not familiar with the process. You can follow the steps below to apply for FMLA leave yourself:
- Look at Your Workplace Handbook. The first step in submitting an FMLA-leave application is to look at your workplace handbook and see if it mentions the FMLA. If your employer has a policy that covers FMLA leave, you must follow the policy's instructions for requesting leave.
- Check Your Eligibility. The next step is to check your eligibility for FMLA leave. To do this, you can use the Department of Labor's FMLA eligibility tool. This tool will help you figure out if your employer is covered by the FMLA and whether you've worked for your employer long enough to take FMLA leave.
- Enlist Your Union's Help. If you're a member of a labor union, you can also ask your union representative for help with requesting FMLA leave. Your union rep will be able to help you understand your employer's FMLA policy and can assist you in submitting your leave application.
- Complete the Request Form. If you don't have a policy that covers FMLA leave or if you're not a member of a labor union, you will need to complete an FMLA request form. This form will ask for information about you, your employer, and the family member for whom you're requesting leave.
- Submit the Request Form. Once you've completed the FMLA request form, you can submit it to your employer. You can either mail or fax it to your employer's HR department.
If You're Denied FMLA Leave
If you're denied FMLA leave, it's a good idea to keep track of any communication you have with your employer about the denial and the reasons for that denial. This information could be helpful if you decide to file a complaint or lawsuit against your employer at a later date.
How to Easily Request FMLA Leave With DoNotPay
The process of requesting FMLA leave can be difficult and confusing, especially if you're not familiar with the process. Many people face problems when trying to request FMLA leave, including the following:
- They're not familiar with their employer's FMLA policy.
- They're not sure if they're eligible for FMLA leave.
- They don't know how to complete an FMLA Request form.
- They don't know where to submit their FMLA Request form.
DoNotPay is here to help you through this difficult process. Using DoNotPay, you can easily apply for FMLA leave yourself and get your application submitted in minutes.
How to request FMLA leave using DoNotPay:
If you want to request parental leave but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 6 easy steps:
- Tell us which state you work in (if you work in CA, NY, NJ, MA, WA, or DC, your state has a paid family leave program).
- Choose whether you want us to apply to the program for you or contact your employer with your leave request. If you want to apply for the program, we will walk you through the questions on the form and mail the application form for you.
- If you want us to contact your employer, enter your leave details, including the starting date, number of weeks of leave, and how many weeks of paid leave you are requesting (for example, you may take a 12 week leave, but only request 8 weeks of paid leave to make the request reasonable).
- Indicate whether you are the birth parent or not (birth parents have a few additional legal protections).
- Enter the name of your company and the person to address this request to.
- Select whether you want us to email the request to your employer on your behalf.
Why Use DoNotPay to Request FMLA Leave?
DoNotPay is the perfect resource for requesting FMLA leave because it provides step-by-step instructions, covers all the bases, and is easy to use.
With DoNotPay, you can be sure that your FMLA application will be complete and accurate, which will increase your chances of having your leave approved.
With our easy-to-use platform, you can complete your FMLA application in minutes, without having to worry about making any mistakes.
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
Besides helping you with your FMLA leave, DoNotPay can also help with all kinds of everyday requests, including:
- Get an easy, no-hassle refund when you make a purchase.
- If you like the product but don't want to buy it, get a free trial and know exactly what you're getting into.
- Fight parking tickets without risking anything.
- Save time and money with standardized legal documents for all your needs.
- Appeal property taxes and get that extra cash to boost your savings account or help your family in need.
Save time, money, and headaches. Contact us at DoNotPay and try our services today.