Harrisburg Family & Medical Leave Act Lawyer (FMLA)
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) generally requires covered Employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period to any eligible Employee who needs time off:
- For a serious health condition that prevents him or her from performing the essential functions of the job
- To care for the Employee’s spouse, son, daughter or parent where that family member has a serious health condition
- For the birth of a child of the Employee, in order to care for the child
- For the placement of an adopted or foster child with the Employee
Employers will typically have an FMLA policy and procedure for applying for leave so it is important to consult the Company work rules and/or the Union Contract to determine how to get FMLA. Generally, an Employee must provide “reasonable notice” of their intention to take FMLA. This is generally considered to be 30 days, however, the sooner an Employee notifies the Employer of their need for leave, the better.
The Employer may also compel the Employee or the Employee may elect to substitute any accrued vacation leave, personal leave or sick leave for any part of the leave. Since FMLA only provides for unpaid leave, this may be necessary if the Employee will be off an extended period of time. The Employer may also require certification from a health care provider to support the Employee’s request for leave. If an Employee is determined to be eligible for leave, the leave need not be taken all at once.
The FMLA allows for intermittent or reduced schedule leave. Intermittent leave is leave taken in blocks of time among periods of continuous employment for a single qualifying reason. A reduced leave schedule is a leave schedule that reduces the Employee’s usual number of working hours per work week or hours per work day. For example, reducing a full-time schedule to a part-time schedule. Examples of intermittent leave include leave taken on an occasional basis for medical appointments or leave for a serious health condition taken several days at a time spread over the course of six months, such as for chemotherapy.
It is important to note that FMLA is only a floor and sets forth the bare minimum of what the Federal Law requires. Be sure to check your Union Contract to determine if more advantageous leave benefits are available, such as short term or long term disability and longer periods of job protection.