Topher Tuesdays

The Family and Medical Leave Act

You pour your heart into your career. The future is bright and you plan to grow at your company. Suddenly, things change when your spouse is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Family is the top priority but you fear losing your job and “organizational favor” if you take time off.

Fortunately under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from their covered employer to take care of a close family member who has a serious health condition, for the birth or adoption of a child, or for the employee’s own emergency medical care. FMLA also requires that group health benefits be maintained for the employee during their job-protected leave.

It is unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided by the FMLA. Additionally, it’s unlawful for an employer to retaliate or discriminate against any individual who has used Family & Medical Leave.

Employers generally find the FMLA simpler on its face than it actually is in practice. In reality, a large number of organizations are unwittingly not in compliance with the FMLA. Check with your manager or Human Resources department for your company’s policies on other forms of leave.