Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was introduced federally to cope up with the medical and family emergencies for the workers and employees. The law grants the employees a leave of 12 weeks in 12 months for medical and family emergencies. The law was constructed to help the employees to balance their work life and personal life. However, it is prudent that your employer is aware of the leaves you will be taking.
The 12 weeks of unpaid leave in FMLA can be taken by the employee in one block or a manner comfortable to him. The employee can also take one day off in a week for medical treatment or in a progressive manner. However, the law instructs the employees to inform the employees 30 days before the leave. But in case of emergency, the employee can report the employers as soon as the circumstances come into his notice.
The law of FMLA applies to the company having 50 or employees. And in case of multiple locations, 50 or more employees in the radius of 75 miles. The law also puts up some restriction on employees to avail the benefit of FMLA. As per the guidelines, the employee sorting the leave under FMLA should have worked with the employer for 1250 hours at least in the 12-month block. And the medical attention required to be adhered to should be ‘serious’ enough in generic terms.
Extension of FMLA: 12 Weeks is Not Enough
There is no provision in the law for the extension of leave of 12 weeks. Hence, the employee cannot take or plead extension of FMLA of 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the right circumstances. The Act only offer 12 weeks period. However, the employer can grant the extension if his work policies allow him to do so. As per the FMLA Act, the employee is only entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. And any extension to that is in the hands of the employers.
Notice and Grant of Leave Under FMLA
The 30 days notice under the FMLA Act is necessary by the employee, is not an emergency. It is good practice that employee gets a written letter from employer that he’/she has been granted leave off under FMLA and will be offered the job of same nature and same pay once he/she rejoins. The written correspondence is essential for the working of the law.
The FMLA laws work independently and do not work along with the state statutes. If the leaves are the same under the State statutes and FMLA, then they must work concurrently. The employees cannot piggyback the laws and obtain an extension of leaves from the employers.
The employees are suggested to take FMLA leaves with planning and can be clubbed with non-working days of the week and holidays. Since these leaves are granted for medical and family emergencies, the same can’t be taken for vacations or holidays. Also, these are unpaid holidays which must be informed to the employers in advance.