Family Medical Leave ~ Time Off For Medical Reasons

Family medical leave applies to most employees. To find out more about the medical leave act and whether your rights might have been violated, call to schedule a free consultation with Kevin Keaney, an experienced employment law attorney, (503) 232-9280.

As an employee, you have rights under the Federal Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – rights that are enforced by the US Department of Labor.

Employees covered under the family leave act can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year, without losing their jobs or a loss of any of their health benefits.

To qualify for your medical leave, you need to have worked for your employer at least 12 months prior to taking that leave (a minimum of 1,250 hours, which equates to approximately 24 hours per week).

You may use family medical leave to take care of your own health issues, or to care for your child, your spouse, or your parent who has a serious health condition. These health conditions include both acute and chronic issues.

In addition, the family medical leave also applies for pregnancy and childbirth, and for all new parents (women and men), including parents of foster children or adopted children.

It is important to note that family medical leave is considered as unpaid time, but if you have accrued personal time, vacation time, or sick time, you can use these benefits in order to get paid. While you’re out on family medical leave, your employer is required to maintain your health insurance as if you were still at work, and you only have to pay what your normal contribution would be for the benefit.

You don’t need to take your family medical leave all at once. Time off can be split into blocks of time, and even multiple leaves (e.g. for pre-scheduled physical therapy appointments).

When you return to work, after family medical leave, by law, you’re entitled to return to the same job or a position that’s virtually identical.

It’s important to make note, however, that not all employers are required to provide family medical leave. Employers who have to abide by the family medical leave act include the following:
• government agencies (local, state, and federal)
• elementary and secondary schools
• private employers who have more than 50 employees

Do you have more questions about the family medical leave act or concerns that your employee rights might have been violated? If so, contact us to schedule a free consultation, 503) 232-9280, or .  We can then discuss your concerns and get you on the path to finding answers.

Note: In addition to family medical leave issues, our law firm also covers other areas of employment law, including pregnancy, wrongful termination, hostile work environment, harassment, and whistleblowing. 

Kevin Keaney is licensed to practice in Oregon and Washington, as well as Texas, where he can also help nurses who need an attorney.