The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides an entitlement of up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave during any 12-month period and it requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave. Eligible employees are entitled to 12 workweeks of leave in a 12-month period 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;” or Twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the servicemember’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).
The FMLA applies to all public agencies, including local, State, and Federal employers, and local education agencies (schools); and private sector employers who employ 50 or more employees for at least 20 workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year – including joint employers and successors of covered employers.
In order to be eligible to take leave under the FMLA, an employee must: work for a covered employer; have worked 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of leave; (special hours of service rules apply to airline flight crew members); work at a location where the employer has 50 or more employees within 75 miles; and have worked for the employer for 12 months. The 12 months of employment are not required to be consecutive in order for the employee to qualify for FMLA leave. In general, only employment within seven years is counted unless the break in service is (1) due to an employee’s fulfillment of military obligations, or (2) governed by a collective bargaining agreement or other written agreement.
The FMLA is administered by the Employment Standards Administration’s Wage and Hour Division within the U.S. Department of Labor. Application of the FMLA can also be impacted by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Contact Denver Employment Attorney Gregory A. Hall if you were terminated for exercising your FMLA rights or if your employer interfered with your right to take FMLA leave.