The Family And Medical Leave Act (FMLA) - What Benefits Is An Employee Entitled To Receive?

The FMLA is a federal law that entitles employees who meet certain eligibility requirements, and who work for covered employers, to take unpaid leave for certain medical and family reasons. Covered employees are entitled to take such leave without the threat of job loss and with continuation of health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken FMLA leave.

The FMLA leave that eligible employees are entitled to receive can be summarized as follows:

  • Twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for:
    • birth of a child and/or to care for a newborn child within the first year of birth;
    • placement 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 who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin to the employee (military caregiver leave).

Determination of whether an employee is entitled to leave and whether an employer's actions violates the FMLA requires a detailed analysis of the facts and circumstances of every individual case. If you believe you have suffered discrimination, job loss, or other adverse action as a result of taking FMLA leave, you should speak with an employment lawyer as soon as possible.