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FMLA eligibility and common disputes

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2023 | Employer Law (Employer), Employment Law (Employee)

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides leave to eligible employees who need time away from work for family and medical reasons.

The leave time isn’t necessarily paid, but the employee’s job is protected while they are exercising their rights under the FMLA.

FMLA eligibility

To qualify for FMLA, employees must meet certain criteria.

The employee must work for a covered employer. This is an employer with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius. The employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately before the leave.

FMLA can be taken for the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child, to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition or for the employee’s own serious health condition.

Common disputes

Disputes may arise between employees and employers regarding FMLA. The employer may dispute the employee’s eligibility for the leave based on the employee’s length of employment. However, these disputes can be resolved if the employer keeps accurate records of the employee’s work history.

Employees are required to provide sufficient notice for the leave when it is foreseeable. The employer may dispute whether the notice was sufficient.

Also, employers have the right to request medical certification from employees if the need for leave is due to a serious health condition. If the employer questions whether the medical certification is not authentic or not adequate, it may ask the employee to provide additional documentation.

Employees are also allowed to take leave intermittently or on a reduced schedule, which can cause a dispute if the employer questions the need for leave intermittently.

These are only some examples of FMLA disputes. There is support available for employees who need help.