Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The “FMLA” is the Family and Medical Leave Act, a federal law that protects an employee’s job when the employee takes leave because of a serious health condition, or on account of the birth or adoption of a baby.  The protections under the FMLA are strong – but not everyone qualifies for coverage.  Therefore, it is important to know what the FMLA covers – and what it does not.

Here are the basics:

What do eligible employees “get”?  The FMLA entitles eligible employees to receive up to 12 weeks per year of unpaid leave if the employee or a family member suffers from a serious health condition, or the employee experiences the birth or adoption of a child.  Employers may not discriminate against or retaliate against employees who take FMLA leave.  Upon completion of leave, the employer generally must restore the employee to their previous position, or to an equivalent position.

Which employers are covered, and which employees are eligible?  The FMLA does not apply to small employers.  Companies must have at least 50 employees on their payroll (for a certain period of time) in order for companies to be required to comply with the FMLA.  Employees who work for such a company also do not become eligible under the FMLA right away.  Employees must have worked there for at least a year, and they must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the past 12 months.

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If you suspect that you have been wrongfully denied your FMLA rights, or if you believe your employer has retaliated against you for taking FMLA leave, it is essential that you speak with an experienced Maryland workplace lawyer at once.  Time limits apply on the right to bring a claim under the FMLA, and it is important to act quickly to secure your rights. 

Feel free to call the Maryland workplace attorneys at Luchansky Law for a consultation at 410.522.1020.

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