It would be nice if you could use your sick leave to care of a family member who was unwell. Employers don’t allow it, however. This is the problem the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 is meant to correct. If you’re worried about balancing your family responsibilities with your job, learning about this law can help. Here, Affordable Healthcare 123 Tees, a company dedicated to the mission of widespread healthcare, looks at some things you need to be aware of:
You get twelve weeks of unpaid leave a year
The law asks employers to allow employees to take 12 weeks off in any 12-month period. While it might appear the time off was paid, in reality, it is 12 weeks of unpaid leave that employers are required to give you.
In some cases, you could get paid
While the FMLA deals with unpaid leave, there is one situation in which you could be paid. If your employer agrees to it, you could take saved-up sick days and vacation days off at the same time as your FMLA leave. While you would use up your sick days in this way, you would get paid while on FMLA leave. If your company does allow it, FMLA could provide a source of financial stability for you when you need to take care of a loved one.
There are exceptions to FMLA leave allowances
It’s easy to assume the FMLA allows employees to ask for time off to take care of any kind of family health crisis. This isn’t true, however. If leave is to be allowed, there are specific conditions that must be met.
- There is a family member who is sick.
- A member of the armed forces needs to prepare to deploy.
- There is a child expected, or a newborn child needs to be placed with an adoption agency or foster home.
Some employers aren’t covered under FMLA
The FMLA doesn’t cover every kind of employer. It only applies to employers that have employed fifty employees over the past twenty weeks. Small employers are not covered. Even when employers are covered, only employees who have worked 1250 hours over the past year receive coverage.
Proof is required
Applying for leave under FMLA can be a confusing process. Employers are allowed to ask to see proof of the medical condition suffered by the relative. Employees, however, are not required to furnish proof. Nevertheless, proof usually is demanded. As an employee, you can ask for two weeks to come up with the proof needed. Your employer may even call up the hospital for clarifications on medical matters to do with the loved one who is ill.
Your employer may give you a different job
The FMLA requires that you should be able to come back to employment once your leave runs out. The law doesn’t specify what kind of job your employer must have waiting for you, however. As long as it’s a job with the same level of pay as the original job, the employer is in the clear. The law isn’t clear about what the FMLA says about what is considered an equivalent job, however.
Obtaining leave under FMLA comes with a few complications. Nevertheless, it offers workers important rights.
About: At a political rally in Sacramento, Sarah Williams made a custom tee-shirt based around a simple belief—healthcare should be as affordable as clothing. Her belief has blossomed into apparel company Affordable Healthcare 123 Tees, dedicated to helping bring medical care to all Americans one shirt at a time.