The Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is one of the most important laws covering employees.

What is The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects employees from losing their jobs if they ever need to take unpaid leave for any of the following reasons:

  • Illness — their own or a family member’s
  • Childbirth
  • Adoption
  • Caregiving

Reasonable Requests for Leave

Unfortunately, some mid-sized employers and many managers don’t understand their employees’ rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act. They sometimes deny reasonable requests for leave. 

Employers may penalize employees for taking leave. The decision to take even a short term medical leave may factor into a layoff decision and is illegal. You should speak with a North Carolina employment lawyer to learn your rights.

Answering Your Questions About the FMLA in North Carolina

If you have questions about the FMLA in North Carolina or believe your rights were violated because you took or were denied leave, talk to an attorney at Van Kampen Law.

We are one of the few law firms in North Carolina that focuses exclusively on employment law. Our attorneys can explain your rights under the law — your right to take the leave you need, and your right not to be penalized for doing so.

Who is covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act?

Unfortunately, not all employees are protected by the FMLA. The law applies only to companies with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius.

In order to be covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act, you must have worked at least 1250 hours in the previous 12 calendar months.

What kinds of medical conditions are covered by the FMLA?

“Serious health conditions,” which are defined as those that could be incapacitating for at least 3 business days are the kinds of medical conditions covered by the FMLA. This could cover: 

• Chemotherapy
• Cancer treatments
• Knee surgery
• Pregnancy problems
• Flu
• Severe migraines

How much time can employees take off?

Employees can take time off for up to 12 weeks in 12 calendar months.

Are employees required to take all their FMLA leave at once?

No, employees are not required to take all of their FMLA leave at once. You could take three weeks to recover after a knee surgery, go back to work for a few days, discover you are having difficulties for which your doctor recommends more time off — and take another three weeks of leave.

Or, you could use part of your leave for an illness, then use more another time when you need to stay home to take care of a sick family member. You can even potentially use FMLA intermittently to work partial work weeks until you’re able to resume full-time status.

The Family and Medical Leave Act was created so employees did not have to choose between their health and their jobs. Take the leave you need and are legally entitled to have. If you need help understanding your rights or getting your employer to follow the law, contact Van Kampen Law for a consultation with an employment lawyer.