Family leave (FMLA)
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) permits an employee to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for pregnancy complications, maternity or paternity leave, care of the employee’s own serious health condition, or care of an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent) who has a serious health condition. A serious health condition entitling an employee to FMLA leave is any illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider.
Employees Eligible to take FMLA leave
An employee is eligible to take FMLA leave if the employee:
1. Worked for the employer for at least 12 months;
2. Worked for the employer for at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 month period before the leave; and
3. Works at a location with at least 50 employees who are employed by the employer within 75 miles of that location.
Remedies under the FMLA
The FMLA prohibits an employer from firing, denying a promotion to, or demoting an employee because the employee requested or has taken family medical leave. Potential remedies include reinstatement and payment of lost wages, employment benefits, or any other loss sustained as a result of the employer’s violation of the FMLA.
Additional state and local protections
In addition to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, certain states and local jurisdictions may offer additional or different protections for employees. For example, in the Maryland Flexible Leave Act (MFLA) provides coverage to many employees who would not otherwise be covered by FMLA. Additionally, the Virginia Human Rights Act may provide coverage to certain employees who have been denied leave on account of a medical condition.