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Am I eligible for medical leave under the FMLA?

The Family and Medical Leave Act  -- and in California, the California Family Rights Act -- are in place to protect workers’ jobs when they have to take time off to handle family or medical issues that arise. Although workers are not paid when they are on leave, they do not have to fear losing their jobs or being demoted when they return to work.

Which workers are eligible for leave under the FMLA?

Employees must work for an employer covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or California Family Rights Act (CFRA), and meet eligibility requirements.

Employers that are covered include all public state, local and federal employers, as well as private sector employers with 50 or more employees.

To be eligible, employees must have worked for the employer for a year or more, put in at least 1,250 hours during the year leading up to the leave, and work at a location where at least 50 employees are employed or within 75 miles of such location.

You can find out more about FMLA eligibility here and CFRA eligibility here.

How much time can I have off under the FMLA?

If you are eligible for leave under the FMLA or CFRA, then you are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a year.

What kinds of family or medical issues qualify under the FMLA?

  • Caring for a child after the child’s birth or adoption
  • Caring for a sick or disabled child, spouse or parent
  • Caring for the worker’s own serious medical condition

Even though the FMLA and CFRA have been around for a while and are very important policies with employment law there are still many employers who do not understand them or choose to ignore what they stand for.

In these cases, it is wise to work with an experienced employment law attorney who can stand up for your rights. 

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