FMLA Frequently Asked Questions

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was first made a law on February 5th, 1993. Despite the fact that it has been around for so long, many people still have a lot of questions or misunderstandings about it. On this page you will find some of the most frequently asked questions and answers to help you to see if you qualify for FMLA, and if so, to make sure you are using it correctly. If you don’t see the answer to your question here, or you need specific legal advice to your situation, please don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a consultation with an attorney.

Does the FMLA Apply to My Employer?

The FMLA applies to most employers, but not all. If you work for any public agency, you will be covered under FMLA. This includes all local, state, and federal employers (including public schools). In the private sector, only employers who have had 50 or more employees who worked a minimum of 20 weeks in the current or previous calendar year.

Can I Qualify for FMLA?

In order to qualify for FMLA you must meet several requirements. First, you must be working for a qualified employer for a minimum of 12 months. In the past year, you must have worked a minimum of 1250 hours. If you meet those requirements, you can qualify for FMLA if you meet a qualifying event, which can include:

  •         A serious medical condition as diagnosed by a doctor.
  •         The birth of a child.
  •         The adoption of a child.
  •         An immediate family member who has a serious health condition and requires your care.
  •         Certain events related to a spouse or child being on active military duty.

What Exactly is Protected if I Take FMLA?

From a legal perspective, the FMLA only ensures that your employer will allow you to take up to 26 weeks of leave in a 12-month period, and that your job (or an equivalent job) will be available to them when they return.

Will I get Paid while on FMLA?

FMLA does not require that employers pay you for the time you are on leave. In most cases you can use vacation time, sick time, or other accrued paid time off to receive payment during your leave. Also, many employers do provide some level of payment to employees who are on FMLA, so make sure to check with your HR department.

Do I Have to Prove My Medical Condition to My Employer?

Yes, if your employer requests it you are required to provide a medical certification showing that a serious medical condition exists. Your employer does not have a right to ask for your full medical records.

Do I Have to Take All the Leave at One Time?

Intermittent leave is permitted under the FMLA when it is medically necessary. This option is often used for those who have been diagnosed with severe migraines or back pain so they can take leave only on the days where their condition makes it impossible for them to work.

What Do I Do if My Employer is Violating My Rights?

If your employee is violating the FMLA requirements, you should get in touch with an attorney as quickly as possible. Make sure you begin documenting all interactions with your employer regarding your FMLA leave (even before any problems arise). Talking with an attorney about the specifics of your case is the best way to determine what legal actions can be taken. Contact us to speak with a lawyer right away.

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DeWitt Law

Michael W. DeWitt is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer who has litigated cases in most Ohio counties and in various federal courts across the country. He has argued appellate matters in Ohio appellate courts, and in the Fourth and Sixth Circuit U.S. Courts of Appeal. After representing corporate clients in employment disputes for over 20 years, Mike now represents employees in harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and restrictive covenant cases and uses the knowledge gained from defending those cases to help clients evaluate and pursue their employment claims. He also represents business clients in breach of contract and other business disputes.

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About DeWitt Law

Michael W. DeWitt is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer who has litigated cases in most Ohio counties and in various federal courts across the country. He has argued appellate matters in Ohio appellate courts, and in the Fourth and Sixth Circuit U.S. Courts of Appeal. After representing corporate clients in employment disputes for over 20 years, Mike now represents employees in harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and restrictive covenant cases and uses the knowledge gained from defending those cases to help clients evaluate and pursue their employment claims. He also represents business clients in breach of contract and other business disputes.

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