Practice Areas

Family Medical Leave Act

The Family Medical Leave Act was enacted in 1993 to allow certain covered employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave related to a medical condition or the care of a relative with a medical condition. Additionally, the law allows parents to take time off after having a baby or adopting.

Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky Wotkyns LLP was founded the same year as the FMLA was passed. In that time, our lawyers have helped numerous employees enjoy the benefits they are entitled to.

Who is Entitled to FMLA Benefits?

Employers that employ 50 or more workers for 20 or more workweeks are subject to the FMLA. Employees who have worked at least one year for the company for at least 1,250 hours during that time are eligible. The FMLA applies to both public and private employers.

What Are FMLA Benefits?

Employees are entitled to 12 workweeks of job-protected leave during a one-year period for:

  • A serious medical condition that renders the employee unable to do the essential functions of the job.
  • Care of a spouse, child or parent with a serious medical condition.
  • Birth of a child and care of the child within the first year following the birth.
  • Placement of a child for adoption or foster care and care of that child within one year of adoption.
  • A qualifying exigent circumstance associated with the active military service of a spouse, child or parent.

Also, employees may take up to twenty-six workweeks within a one-year period to care for spouse, child, parent or next of kin who is a service member with a serious illness or injury.

The leave can be unpaid, but the employee’s job is protected during the absence. The employer must also continue offering the employee the same group health insurance.

Employee’s Obligation Under FMLA

The employee is obligated to provide the employer with sufficient notice if the circumstances are foreseeable. The employee must follow the employer’s usual and customary requirements for requesting leave for planned medical treatment. The U.S. Department of Labor considers 30 days as acceptable notice unless the employer’s policies clearly specify otherwise. In the case of planned medical treatment, the employee must work with the employer to minimize the disruption that the absence will cause.

The law, however, recognizes that medical issues are not often foreseeable, in which case the employee is responsible for giving notice as soon as practicable. What is considered appropriate notice for emergency situations depends upon the facts of each particular case.

Whether the leave was planned or urgent, the employee should provide reasonable updates as to the need for continued leave and return date to avoid further disruption to the business.

Learn More about Application of the Family Medical Leave Act Provisions

Learn more about how rights and obligations under the Family Medical Leave Act provisions. Contact Schneider Wallace to schedule an appointment in our employment litigation law attorneys in our Houston, San Francisco or Scottsdale office. Our trial lawyers regularly appear before state and federal courts to litigate issues concerning the right to medical leave.

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