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What You Should Know About the FMLA as an Employee

Sept. 15, 2020

If you suffer from a serious health condition at work or have a family member who has taken ill, taking time off to take care of yourself or them should be your main concern. However, an uncooperative boss can make you stress out, which can further exacerbate your condition. This is where you can demand your rights, according to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

FLMA allows employees to balance family obligations and work without suffering from negative consequences. According to the law, employers must allow their employees to take time off from work to take care of themselves family members who are critically ill.

What is Covered By the FMLA?

However, this does not mean every family-related leave is covered. Here are some things you should be aware of about the FMLA as an employee:

  • According to the FMLA, you can take 12 weeks of leaves in 12 months, however, it will be unpaid

  • You may need to provide proof of the medical condition

  • Your employer cannot fire you after you leave. However, when you return, he/she may change your job without repercussions

  • Not every employee is covered

Before Taking FMLA Leave

Before taking these leaves, you need to give your employer prior notice. This should be at least 30 days if you know you need to take a leave for a surgery or because of a pregnancy. In such cases, you need to inform your employer about the leave the day you learn you need to take it or on the next workday.

If you need FMLA leaves urgently, in case of an emergency (such as to care for a family member who is injured in a car accident), you still need to immediately inform your employer. If you are unable to do so on an urgent basis, you can follow set protocols your employer has in place until you can inform him/her about the leave.

While you do not have to disclose your diagnosis to your employer, you must provide information proving the leaves you need is based on a condition protected by the FMLA.

If you have been denied FMLA leave by your employer – even though you are eligible for it, you have the right file a lawsuit against them. The Law Office of Michael T. Smith can help. For three decades, our attorneys have been fighting for the rights of employees in Schaumburg, IL, in federal court and are not afraid to go up against business giants. Get in touch with us for a consultation today.