Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

by | Mar 15, 2024 | Firm News

The Family Medical Leave Act (more commonly known as FMLA) is a federal law that grants employees unpaid, job protected leave when an employee cannot work because of a serious health condition. FMLA Leave also covers an employee if they are relied upon to provide care to a child, spouse, or parent who has a serious health condition. FMLA can vary depending on the type of employment. Private employers with less than 50 employees are not covered by FMLA but they may be covered by state law family and medical leave laws (more to come on that in an upcoming blog post). Even if your employer is covered by FMLA, there are some requirements you need to meet. First, the employee is covered by FMLA if they have worked for the employer for at least 12 months, this can be consecutively or non-consecutive. Secondly, the employee has had to have worked for at least 1,250 hours within the 12 month period (this comes to about 24 hours per week for 52 weeks). Finally, the employer needs to have at least 50 employees working within a 75 mile radius of the work location. 

There are two types of claims an employee may bring if they believe their right to FMLA Leave is being violated: interference and retaliation. Interference of FMLA Leave refers to an employer who denies a valid request for FMLA Leave, discourages an employee from taking an FMLA Leave, or manipulates an employee’s work hours to avoid giving the employee FMLA Leave. It is also unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for taking FMLA Leave by discharging or discriminating against an employee.

Minnesota also has their own medical leave laws and these laws will be discussed in a following blog post.

The Family Medical Leave Act is very complicated, so it is important to have a lawyer who understands the law and can help you bring a claim if you believe your right to FMLA Leave has been violated