How the FMLA Can Impact Your Life

While the ideals associated with the “American dream” tend to stem from working hard, that doesn’t mean working yourself into the ground. This is where the Family and Medical Leave Act comes to save the day.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, those who are eligible are legally allowed to take FMLA leave for a serious health condition, expanding their family, or military family leave for up to 12 weeks of leave for every 12-month period they’ve worked. Check out the following ways FMLA can impact your life:

Not everyone is covered under the FMLA.

Unfortunately, depending on the number of employees at your job, you may not be covered by the FMLA. The U.S. Department of Labor notes that, generally, private employers with less than 50 employees are not covered by the FMLA, but you may be able to find some coverage under state family and medical leave laws. For example, if you live in California, according to the Employment Development Department of the State of California, you also have protection under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to receive CFRA leave under similar circumstances.

If your employer is covered by FMLA, you must have worked at least 12 months and 1,250 hours within that 12 months to be eligible. Have you been wrongly denied medical leave or family leave under the FMLA in California? Consider seeking legal advice from the lawyers at Perkins Asbill a Professional Law Corporation. Whether you were dealing with a serious health condition, having a new child, had an ill family member, or had a family member home from active duty; you deserve to have had job protection while you were away. See if you have a case under the FMLA or the CFRA to prove your employer was in violation of the law if you have been wrongly fired or had your employee rights violated in any way.

You probably won’t get paid leave.

While the FMLA may protect your job, your leave will likely be unpaid leave. According to the DOL, under the FMLA, you aren’t guaranteed workers’ compensation. The FMLA only protects the job of the eligible employee while they’re away. When you return to work, you should come back to the same or an equivalent position (with equivalent pay, status, duties, etc.). Since the FMLA doesn’t mean pay, some eligible employees needing wage replacement use their paid vacation leave, paid sick leave days, etc. as a substitute for missed checks, according to a recent article published in U.S. News.

FMLA protects eligible employees leave rights in the following circumstances when it comes to medical leave.

Serious Illness or Injury

The DOL notes that the first reason to take advantage of FMLA is for a serious health condition of either your own or a family member. Examples include time off for serious injury, medical treatments, medical conditions that may leave you incapacitated, and other similar qualifying health concerns. Keep in mind that you may need a medical certification form from your or the qualifying family member’s health care provider to prove the medical diagnosis and leave requirement.

Reduce the need for medical leave by considering a holistic approach for pain management and enhancing your quality of life. By learning the benefits of holistic health and your daily life, you will find that a lot of times, certain medical conditions can be caused by another underlying health issue. For example, sometimes back pain or high blood pressure is caused by a weight problem and/or a bad daily routine.

By looking at holistic health options, such as acupuncture, seeing a chiropractor, taking a serious look at your spiritual health, and holistic medicines for pain, you can reap the health benefits of a holistic approach. Your health and wellness could only benefit from simple holistic health approaches like eating better, exercising more, and adding natural supplements. In time, these little changes will positively change your physical health and daily life.

Pregnancy and Childbirth

Under the FMLA, an employee (and the employee’s spouse) can receive medical leave for medically required bed rest, prenatal appointments, childbirth, and recovery/bonding time after the birth of a child. Parents of a foster child could also be eligible to receive time off after the placement of a child through foster care under the FMLA.

COVID-19 Expansions

The previously mentioned article published in U.S. News noted that the FMLA has been extended during the COVID-19 pandemic so that you may be eligible to take time off to receive the vaccine. It will also cover you if you experience side effects such as flu-like symptoms after receiving the vaccine and need to take sick leave to recuperate.