Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”) is a federal law that requires “covered employers” to provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave during any 12 month period to “eligible” employees for one or more of the following reasons:

  1. For the birth and for the care of a newborn child of the employee;
  2. For the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
  3. To care for a family member (child, spouse or parent) with a serious health condition; or
  4. Because of the employee’s own serious health condition. **

Not every employer is covered by the terms of the FMLA.  In this regard, in order to be covered by the provisions of the FMLA and have a corresponding obligation to provide leave to eligible employees, an employer must employ at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius of the employee’s worksite.  In addition, to be deemed an “eligible employee,” and employee must have been employed for at least 12 months and worked at least 1250 hours in the past year.

The Department of Labor has published a good summary of the rights and obligations created by the FMLA, which can be found here.

Marc has experience advising employers with respect to their obligations under the FMLA and its implementing regulations as well as with respect to the often complex interplay between the provisions of the FMLA, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the American’s with Disabilities Act.  Marc has also represented employees who have been denied leave or other rights under the FMLA or who have been unlawfully retaliated against because of their use of leave provided by the FMLA.

** Recently, coverage under the FMLA was expanded to cover “qualifying exigency” leave to eligible employees with covered family members in the Regular Armed Forces and coverage for “military caregiver leave” to eligible employees who are the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin of certain veterans with a “serious injury or illness.”